Last week I had the pleasure of attending an open house for Endless Opportunities mentoring program. A nonprofit mentorship organization in Grand Rapids, MI that focus on youth development. As I walked into Lafontsee Art Gallery jazz graced the entire gallery setting a comforting tone for the night. As the night continued I was greeted with refreshments and good company meeting many professionals and like-minded individuals who desired to help contribute change within our community.
The founder Alvin J Hills IV started off the informational component of the night to make sure we all remembered why we were gathered in comradery on that fine Tuesday night. This was a meeting to advocate that as community members, business owners, elected officials, educators and parents we are engaged with our children and bettering the younger generation. I admired greatly Antonio Taylor’s compelling spoken word performance, the two pieces he presented were compelling. City Commissioner Senita Lenear briefly spoke of the importance of mentorship and how it impacted and changed her life. Giving testimony to the power of mentorship and having someone who looks like her in the work field really impacted her and motivated her to dream and accomplish bigger things within her career. Senita recently launched a young women’s professional group where she will be doing some mentorship as well.
Another advocate for mentorship was Jason McGhee the principal of Coit Creative Arts Academy. Jason advocated the importance of mentorship in all areas of life as well as all ages. His demonstration of impactful mentorship was when his fellow student who was only thirteen taught him that standing alone for a change and something you believe in is way more valuable than being like the crowd and doing what everyone else does. Jason states, “Life is about making decisions teaching my kids how to make decisions in life. Understanding the difference between decisions and choices.”
Since I am a women’s empowerment blogger when Tanell Thomas began to talk about her mentorship program Impact which focuses on character building, education, and volunteerism it struck very close to home for me. The president of Impact Miyanni Nelson spoke about the importance of what Impact does for young girls and how it has taught her that mentoring is critical to success. Tanell’s drivers for this mentor program is to show young girls that they are not in competition with each other and respecting yourself as a woman is imperative.
Brandon McBride ended the night with the young gentlemen from Endless Opportunities reciting the Affirmation. Leading this Affirmation was Anthony Fant, the Affirmation gave me chills as I listened to young men speaking such powerful words uplifting, collaborating, and succeeding at something together. It was inspirational and motivational. The work that these mentorship programs are doing in the community is remarkable. Coming together for a cause that is life changing and impactful to so many lives I will forever cherish. If you would like to donate to Impact or Endless Opportunities they can be reached by the information below.
Website: www.endlessopportunities.org Email: Ahills@endlessopportunities.org