Friday, January 23, 2009

VIP Mentoring Honors Outstanding Mentors

Mentors of Detroit unite! On January 22, The Metro Detroit Mentor Collaboration (MDMC) honored 10 of Detroit’s finest mentors on Thursday, January 22 at Millennium Centre Theatre in Southfield, MI. The event, entitled The Mentor Celebration Gala, featured a silent auction followed by the award ceremony. All proceeds from the silent auction benefited MDMC and its participating organizations.

Former University of Michigan football coach and new face of Mentor Michigan, Lloyd Carr, made a brief presentation and 96.2 WDVD radio personality Lisa Jesswien handed out the awards. Edward Hodge, 16, a mentee with VIP Mentoring was the night’s keynote speaker and reflected on his experience VIP and also about the rewards of mentoring in general.

“Mentoring is a light of guidance into the right direction,” Hodge said. “All the mentors that I have come into contact with have been more than willing to share their knowledge so that I may be of benefit.”

Hodge recalled experiences with all of his mentors. These included Detroit Pistons and Lions games as well as learning how to lay drywall and tile. He thanked all the mentors at the event and explained that when he’s old enough, he plans to become a mentor, too.

“It is not hard to make a difference, one just has to be ready for the journey ahead,” he said.

Honorees were Edith Assaff (chosen by VIP Mentoring), Edward Cherkinsky (Mentor Connectsion), David M. Chisholm (ART of Leadership Program), Nicole Dobbins (Student Mentor Partners), Jonny Jackson (Winning Futures), Todd Lounsberry (Big Brothers Big Sisters), Brenda Moore (Down to Earth), Stephanie Mosley (Vista Maria), Wendee Rex (Childhelp Michigan) and Tina Marie Zubaty (The Guidance Center).

MDMC is a consortium of 10 mentoring agencies including the ART of Leadership Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach, Down to Earth Community Outreach Center, The Guidance Center, Mentor Connection – Jewish Family Service, Student Mentor Partners, VIP Mentoring, Vista Maria and Winning Futures. It is a partnership between Mentor Michigan and local mentoring organizations to improve mentoring and celebrate those who do.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

VIP Mentees visit Ambassador Magazine

On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, seven mentees from VIP Mentoring made a trip to Ambassador Magazine to celebrate the efforts of another influential African American – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There, they met with six staff members and co-publisher Dennis Archer, Jr. to learn the intricacies of the magazine publishing trade.

The youth divided into six groups, partnering with at least one Ambassador staff member to focus on marketing, editing and graphic design with the end goal of producing a newsletter about the day’s visit. VIP Mentee Fifteen year old Cheryl met with Ambassador managing editor Rebecca Stevens and editorial assistant Rian English to produce the main story for the newsletter.

“Mentoring is valuable because it teaches students how to rise to many careers that meet their interests,” Carlisle wrote. Another VIP mentee, 16 year old Darnell learned about public relations and marketing in the magazine world from Ambassador’s marketing and public relations coordinator Lauren Elizabeth. She taught him about pursuing advertisers that fit the publication’s readership, creating timelines and the importance of organization. He created a mock timeline for Rolex and brainstormed ways to pitch the perks of advertising in Ambassador.

The magazine’s graphic designer, Adriana Lagrou, worked with several mentees to produce the newsletter’s layout. It was topped by the Ambassador masthead and featured Carlisle’s work. It also included the names of the VIP mentees who participated and as well as the magazine staff. A black-and-white sketch of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. complemented the page and tied it into the national holiday.

Jerry Dash, VIP Mentoring CEO said “We are excited about our new partnership with Ambassador and we look forward to future opportunities and events to be co-championed by Denise Ilitch and Dennis Archer, Jr.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

George Bush Declares January National Mentoring Month

National Mentoring Month, 2009
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

White House News

During National Mentoring Month, we recognize the millions of individuals who dedicate themselves to making a difference in the lives of others, and we underscore our commitment to supporting these soldiers in America's armies of compassion.

Every day across our great Nation, men and women of many different backgrounds work to inspire our next generation of leaders. By sharing their time and experiences, mentors help instill important values that encourage America's youth to set high goals and achieve their dreams. Mentors demonstrate that the strength of our Nation lies in the hearts and souls of our citizens and that a positive influence in someone's life helps them secure a more hopeful future.

My Administration has been committed to building a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility. Through the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program, volunteers help provide consistent guidance and support so that these children can lead lives of opportunity and achievement. The USA Freedom Corps is strengthening mentoring opportunities in America and spreading a message of hope across our Nation. The Helping America's Youth initiative, led by First Lady Laura Bush, motivates caring adults to connect with youth to help them to grow up to be responsible and successful adults. By working together, we can enrich the lives of our next generation and continue a legacy of kindness and encouragement.

I appreciate our Nation's mentors and all those who contribute to their community by helping to change a child's life. For more information on volunteering to be a mentor, visit During National Mentoring Month, we honor the many Americans who have touched the lives of others with their compassion, and we reflect on their efforts toward building a stronger and brighter future for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2009 as National Mentoring Month. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the importance of mentoring, to look for opportunities to serve as mentors in their communities, and to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Community Arts and Education Program


VIP Mentoring has teamed up with The Arts League of Michigan to offer The Community Arts and Education Program to our mentees. The program offers dance, music, art, theatre, and writing classes. Classes start January 26. Please contact our office if you are interested in enrolling your child(ren).