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Lloyd Carr speaks to 4-H group about importance of mentoring

I know in some corners of the land of Green and White, it’s hard to laud those associated with the University of Michigan, but when Michigan State University Extension is able to team up with a proven leader like Lloyd Carr on an issue as important as youth mentoring even I can put aside my Sparty pride (especially now that Coach Carr is no longer roaming the sidelines at The Big House).

 Carr, the longtime football coach for the Wolverines, is a Mentor Michigan spokesperson. He visited a Journey 4-H Youth Mentoring event in West Olive to help promote the new Journey 4‑H: The Outdoor Challenge, which pairs adults with youth interested in outdoor activities.

 Coach Carr spoke about the power that adult mentors have in the lives of their mentees, and said he was lucky to have so many people mentor him when he was growing up.

 I can say we are also lucky – lucky that we have great people like Carr working to make a difference and lucky to have dedicated staff members that could put such a wonderful, impactful program together.

 Susan Fenton, Muskegon County Extension program instructor, and Harold McDermed, Ottawa County Extension program instructor, were integral in the formation of The Outdoor Challenge. They put the event on with the help of team members Lisa Bottomley, Barb Brow, BettyBeth Johns and Anne Sullivan. Another big assist came from Amber Troupe from Mentor Michigan and Rob Renes, a Mentor Michigan Leadership Council member and former Wolverine All-American who was coached by Carr. The mentoring relationship was everywhere at the event, right down to the food. A Journey mentor and mentee catered the event.

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Mentor of the Year finalist honored at Governor’s Service Awards

Ottawa County Journey 4-H mentor Harry Leeuw was honored as a finalist for Mentor of the Year at the 2010 Governor’s Service Awards on June 24 at the Gem Theatre in Detroit. Forty finalists were selected from more than 130 individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations from across the state who were nominated for their commitment to volunteer service. Harry was one of five finalists for Mentor of the Year. This award honors an individual who has made a significant difference in a child’s life through mentoring.

Harry has mentored two youth during his four years as a mentor through the Michigan State University Extension Journey 4-H Youth Mentoring program. Journey 4-H Youth Mentoring is a one-on-one mentoring program that serves court-involved youth of Ottawa County or those youth who are identified as being high risk for becoming court involved.

Harry was nominated for Mentor of the Year by Harold McDermed, MSUE program associate. According to Harold, “Harry was looking for a mentoring program that gave him the opportunity to work with kids who needed that extra encouragement to do their best and stay out of the court system.”

It looks like Harry found what he was looking for, and it was the best place for him as well as the mentees. Congratulations, Harry!

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