Mentoring Appreciation Night Award Winners

2019 Ripple Effect Award Winners: Dave and Sue Hodson

January is National Mentoring Month. Each year we celebrate our amazing mentors, partners, donors, and families for all that they do to support students. See below for the complete list of Mentoring Appreciation Night Awards Winners!

2022 Awards: Join us virtually Wednesday, January 26 awards, prizes and celebration! Grab a drink or snack and enjoy. You must register before the event to receive the Zoom link.

YearGo for the G.O.L.D. AwardPush Through AwardSoaring High AwardLongevity AwardPriceless PartnerRipple Effect AwardLukaart Legacy Award
2022Karen Small

Veronica Meza

Alex Stevenson
Geoffrey Bonham

Kim Stoub
Claire WoltersMike ZieteseMallowfieldsErika VanDykeAngel Barreto-Cruz

Luis Perez
2021Gary EveyCandy Wilkes-Scheper

Larry Whipple
Mike KruppDebbie SchuhmanKent District LibrarySergio Cira-Reyes

Carole Paine-McGovern and Kent School Services Network
Karina Zarate
2020Sara ArandaMadeline Aguillon

Kathee Longberg
Will HollandCindy KesselGordon Food ServiceJohana Rodriguez-QuistSusan Lukaart
2019NAVanessa NolteMaura LamoreauxSuzann VanklompenbergBlue Cross Blue Shield of MichiganDave and Sue HodsonNA

BCBSM Foundation Grant

September 1, 2021

Affinity Mentoring is THRILLED to announce that we have received a two-year research grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Michigan. It might seem strange that a non-profit offering mentoring services would receive a research grant from a foundation focused on physical health and safety, but Social Determinants of Health have actually shown us that our short and long term health and ability to thrive, even how long we live, are greatly affected by many factors, such as our economic stability, education, and important relationships! For example, did you know that:

  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competence shows benefits such as: improved test scores, grades, attendance, positive social behaviors, and relationships with peers and adults (Durlak et al., 2011; Farrington et al., 2012; Sklad et al., 2012)
  • SEL has been found to: improve achievement, increase attitudes toward school, and reduce depression and stress (Durlak et al., 2011)
  • Kindergartners stronger in SEL are more likely to: graduate high school, earn a college degree, and obtain stable employment in young adulthood (Jones, Greenberg & Crowley, 2015)

This is why we are so focused on our key areas of growth at Affinity Mentoring: Social Emotional Learning, Self Esteem, Leadership Development, and Academics; because they all impact each other! Have you ever tried to focus on an important project or difficult task while stressed about an important relationship, or thinking about another hard task you have to complete, or while being afraid that you might fail, or while keeping silent even though you have important information to share with others? How easy is it to complete that project or task? 
Students are exactly the same. When they are anxious, worried, have low self-esteem, are afraid to speak up, and do not feel as if they have safe relationships with people they can talk to, it is significantly harder for them to focus in school and on academics, and there can be short and long term consequences.

THIS is why we love mentoring; THIS is why it matters so incredibly much; THIS is why an organization like the BCBS Foundation of Michigan recognizes the long term positive impact that mentoring can have on student health. Visit our website to learn how you can be a part of something with incredible impact and potential in the lives of students and families. 

Support 115 New Matches, Match4Match



“It’s finally happening! My dream!” ANTHONY, a fourth grader, had been anxiously waiting for a mentor for two years. Now that he found his match, he is excited to practice his English one-on-one without fear of embarrassment or failure.



With your help, we found Anthony’s match, as well as one for 114 other students like:

TREZURE, an active and social 1st grader, who loves dancing, volleyball and softball was matched with Rachel, a certified personal trainer. Together they love to play outside, building Lego towers, and reading books at our newest site, Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center.

KOMANI, a kind and playful 2nd grader, had been on the waitlist for two years at Burton Elementary. He loves basketball and was looking for a strong male role model. After an extensive search, we matched him with a former mentor and father of four, Eric. Together they play sports, games, and are goal setting!

We said “yes” to these kids but matching them with a mentor is just the beginning. We need your help to ensure students like Anthony, Trezure, and Komani receive ongoing match support that enables them to navigate the larger systems and effectively advocate for them and their families. You have the power to help unlock their potential, match4match.

Will you join us?

DONATE NOW


Wyoming Community Foundation Supports Expansion

By Rachel Humphreys

The Wyoming Community Foundation has awarded Affinity Mentoring a $2,750 grant to support expansion to Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center in Wyoming, MI. This award will be combined with the support from Molina Healthcare, Steelcase Foundation, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to:

  • Recruit, screen, train, and match 30 mentors with a student
  • Stock the Mentor Center with games, activities, crafts, books, and other resources
  • Provide ongoing match support to retain and support students and their mentors

So far, 17 kindergarteners and first graders have been matched with a mentor, but there is still a need. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, apply here.

The Wyoming Community Foundation,  a regional affiliate of Grand Rapids Community Foundation, evaluates local needs and opportunities and looks to fund projects that address the areas of art & culture, community development, education, environment, health, or social needs.


If you or your organization would like to support Affinity’s expansion to Wyoming please contact rhumphreys@affinitymentoring.org or check out our Community Partners Page.

Affinity’s Back to School Wishlist

Help us stock our new mentoring sites at Lee Middle School and Godfrey-Lee Elementary and replenish our other sites. After hundreds of students use our supplies and games each week we are always in need of a helping hand!


Check out our Amazon Wishlist for a full list of needs!


BOOKS

  • Spanish books K-3
  • English books K-3
  • Middle school books
  • Diverse + educational

CRAFTS

  • Pencils + colored pencils
  • Markers + crayons
  • Pom poms, pipe cleaner, buttons, sequins
  • Construction paper
  • Glue + glue sticks
  • Cotton Balls

GAMES

  • Flashcards
  • Math + reading games
  • Legos
  • Uno
  • Sorry
  • Kerplunk
  • Mancala

OFFICE/OTHER

  • Printer/scanner
  • Kleenex
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Stapler
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Rolling Cart

OUTDOOR GAMES

  • Hula hoops
  • Soccer balls
  • Jump ropes
  • Basketballs
  • Footballs
  • Frisbees
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Cones

Thank you for your support!


Please send or drop off donations at:

818 Butterworth St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Contact: Rachel Humphreys | rhumphreys@affinitymentoring or 616.215.0888