"Never underestimate the power of an hour," said Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling, at a breakfast January 18, at the Hilton Burlington honoring mentors and mentoring supporters celebrating National Mentoring Month.
The breakfast featured remarks by Senator Patrick Leahy, spokesperson Michael Schirling, Burlington Chief of Police, and DREAM mentor Molly Mulcahy with her mentee Noah.
Michaela Burns, a senior Saint Michael's College English major from Sandwich, Mass., was amongst the 10 local mentors honored for outstanding work. Ms. Burns, the daughter of Donna-Marie and John Burns, graduated from Sandwich High School before coming to Saint Michael's of Burlington, Vermont, one of the top 10 college towns in the country.
Senator Leahy, himself a 1961 graduate of Saint Michael's College, and an outspoken advocate for mentoring, praised the hard work of the mentors. "I wanted to tell you all that you make a real difference, whether you read books, shoot hoops, do homework, or just talk," said Leahy. "I wanted to come here as one Vermonter and say thank you."
Chief Schirling also thanked mentors in his remarks, reminding them to "never underestimate the power of an hour." He highlighted the connection between mentoring and a healthy community, and noted that "regardless of your background or interests you can have a positive impact on the life of a young person."
Ms. Burns received her mentoring award from the Saint Michael's MOVE office. Olivia McCall, Student Program Coordinator, praised her for being an exceptionally compassionate mentor who leads by example. "She is always thinking of others before herself, and is constantly trying to make the girls feel like they matter," said McCall. "She remains calm and keeps her cool no matter the situation, and her composure transcends throughout the group and makes others feel at ease despite any problems."
The Thank Your Mentor Breakfast was a part of Mobius' local celebration of National Mentoring Month 2012. Throughout the month of January, Mobius representatives and spokesperson Chief Schirling are raising awareness of the local mentoring movement and recruiting new volunteers for the hundreds of local children who want and would benefit from having a mentor.
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