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Cecil Shorts III Mentor Awards Finalists

April 2, 2015

In January, we shared a series of mentor and mentee testimonials from the nationally recognized Achievers For Life initiative. This dropout prevention strategy has been an integral component of our education programming designed to promote a lifetime of success by opening the doors to health and financial stability.

Beginning in 2013 and throughout his tenure as Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver, Cecil Shorts III and his wife, Chanel, served as champions for middle school mentoring. They have both volunteered as Achievers For Life mentors at Eugene Butler Middle School, and are dedicated community advocates for the initiative.

Backpack Challenge

This year, Cecil and Chanel wanted to honor the extraordinary commitment of volunteer mentors and the impact they make on keeping students in school and on track to graduation. In continued partnership with United Way, they are hosting a mentor recognition ceremony to celebrate a “rookie,” “veteran,” and company of the year.

Forty-eight middle school students nominated their mentors to receive the award. As the mentor recognition celebration approaches, we wanted to highlight the top 10 finalists and share with you some of the inspiring words their mentees shared in their nominations:

Rookie of the Year Finalists:

(Mentors active less than one year)

Valerie Erlenbusch, Jefferson Davis Middle
“She’s kind of like a sugar cookie: sweet, nice and soft.” – Alexis

Tim Bunn, Joseph Stilwell Middle
“My mentor is someone who genuinely cares about me and wants to see me succeed in school and in life.” – Thomas

Johao Stewart, Eugene Butler Middle
“I wish that more people would be like him, because more kids needs people that would do what he’s done for me.” – Breon

Michael McIntosh, Fort Caroline Middle
“Mr. Michael is special because he helps me with my school work and encourages me to pay attention.” – Dillan

Erin Homan, Eugene Butler Middle
“She is nice, funny, helpful, caring and warm-hearted.” – Phillia

Veteran of the Year Finalists:

(Mentors active more than one year)

Ado Angeles, Joseph Stilwell Middle
“Mr. Ado has been there for me ever since we met two years ago. He is always encouraging me to push myself so that I can be a better student and person in life.” – Austin

Philip Lee, Eugene Butler Middle
“I would like for him to always be in my life and there when I make different choices and decisions.” – Darion

Dan Brown, Arlington Middle
“I can talk to him about absolutely anything and he cares very much for me. He loves to be my mentor and it shows.” – Lydell

Mickey McCown, Jefferson Davis Middle
“He’s almost like family to me. He understands me and that’s what makes me feel special.” – Tierney

Stephen Moore, Fort Caroline Middle School
“He’s fun, nice, and he likes to talk about stuff I like to talk about.” – Demetric