Each January, in conjunction with National Mentoring Month, the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance honors the remarkable mentoring work that takes place in the Charlotte community.
The alliance highlights the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made it their mission to inspire and motivate youths and their families to continue to lead positive lives.
There were four award categories: grassroots mentoring organization of the year, best collaboration in mentoring, mentor of the year and mentee of the year.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Northside Baptist Church have established a transformative collaboration to serve dozens of youth during the coronavirus pandemic by offering year-round, career-based technical skills training in addition to in-person programming.
Through this collaboration, several other non-profits emerged as fellow collaborates and helped to increase the amount of opportunities for youth to earn income, while receiving free training to learn skills that will make them employable beyond their time with the program.
Northside opened its doors to CMPD to allow the young people to learn about the community, learn about themselves and have positive role models.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what your past may be,” Washington said. “We all have a past, but the miracle is to see someone that’s been broken or that needs that extra bit of attention to turn around. That provides hope for people who may be like them and think there’s nothing.”
“This past year has displayed our need for meaningful relationships more than ever. You rose to the challenge and persisted. You prioritized healthy relationships and served our youth during a time when they needed additional support the most,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.
Washington said a lot of times, youths don’t know what they’re capable of until they are put in a position to do something they’ve never done.
“When you see the opportunity for them to learn something they’ve never tried,” she said. “that gives us hope.”
Lyles acknowledged the meaningful work performed by mentoring agencies and individuals in Charlotte, along with the dedication required to support the social and emotional well-being of our future community leaders.
“To serve as mentors, we know firsthand the characteristics that best accompany the role of a generous spirit. An ear to listen without judgment. The ability to relate to youth while encouraging and supporting them in pursuit of their own destiny,” Lyles said.
The Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance connects Charlotte organizations to promote mentoring and its best practices through training sessions and workshops, recognition and establishing quality standards for mentoring in the city.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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