Over 200 mentors, mentoring program staff, and community supporters were in attendance at the Mentoring Institute of Coastal Fairfield County's Second Annual Regional Mentor Recognition Banquet, held at Testo's Ristorante on Jan. 18.
The Mentoring Institute is a United Way of Coastal Fairfield County initiative that brings together a network of mentor programs across the region to share best practices and improve quality standards.
The banquet is an evening of appreciation to the mentors who give of their time to help children and youth in need of a special person in their life, and is celebrated in January, National Mentoring Month. Mentors representing 18 independent mentoring programs were in attendance and received recognition.
"It is a real pleasure to work with the many wonderful mentoring program providers that participate in The Mentoring Institute," Soraya Bilbao-Kuo, Program Manager of the Mentoring Institute, said.
"Their spirit of collaboration, hard work, and dedication to the children and youth they serve is making a difference and bringing awareness to the importance of mentoring and the need for more mentors."
David Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, provided opening remarks. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Susan Weinberger, Ph.D. who is also known as "Dr. Mentor." Susan is an expert known in the world of mentoring and brought excitement and fun to this great evening.
A highlight of the event came when Franceska Memelli, a senior at Stratford High School made a presentation in front of the audience.
She wrote a tribute to her mentor of four years, Donna Pfrommer, who works at United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. Her presentation and words were inspiring and brought about a huge round of applause from the group. Franceska is looking forward to attending college next year and has several schools to choose from.
This exchange set the stage for keynote speaker Tim M. Duffey, Search Institute Senior Trainer at Vision Training Associates, who offered insight on how to inspire and excite youth to succeed in life.
The mission of The Mentoring Institute of Coastal Fairfield County is to make a sustainable difference in the lives of children and youth throughout Coastal Fairfield County. A collaborative network of independent mentoring organizations, it builds the capacity of mentor programs to recruit, train, and match mentors, serves as a resource for mentoring best practices, and raises community awareness of the importance and benefits of mentoring.
The Mentoring Institute is an initiative of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
United Way of Coastal Fairfield County’s mission is:
"Together, we mobilize our communities to improve people's lives."
Our vision is to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Working with many partners, United Way is focused on the building blocks that we need for a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health. United Way of Coastal Fairfield County serves the towns of Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Westport, Trumbull, Easton, Monroe, Weston, Norwalk, Wilton, New Canaan and Darien.
Find out more at our website, www.unitedwaycfc.org. To become a mentor to a child, please visit www.mentor-ct.org.