In a world where at-risk adults often face the hardships of homelessness and incarceration, Trusted Mentors serves as a guiding light of hope and transformation. With their three tracks to success, they accomplish their mission by providing quality mentor training for volunteers, matching adults with trained mentors, and fostering ongoing mentoring relationships through supplying useful information, guidance and positive activities.
Trusted Mentors has maintained a 95% average in helping people remain housed and an 88% average in helping mentees avoid recidivism since 2015, according to their official website.
Costeena Weathersby, four months into her role as Trusted Mentors executive director, knows the impact mentoring can have on others due to her personal experience. “The story that got me to understand adult mentoring works is having a godbrother who was in and out of trouble throughout his life,” said Weathersby. “After graduating high school and being in and out of trouble over time, he ended up going to prison for almost 12 years.”
Following his incarceration, in 2011 Weathersby and her godbrother moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. “It was hard for him at first to get a job. I watched him get frustrated because anytime he would put on his application that he did have a criminal background, he just wasn’t hearing from anybody.”
He ended up meeting a pastor who helped guide him, get him a job and connect him to a church. “Now, he’s married, he has a child, he’s in ministry and he has remained out of prison. That had already solidified for me that adult mentoring works. That’s why I’m here.” said Weathersby.
Trusted Mentors also serves those who are exiting the foster care system and those who were previously homeless. Whittney Sorrell-Cobb, who serves as a mentor match manager, works with young adults ages 18-24 and people experiencing homelessness to make sure that those who are struggling know that they have the resources available. “The big part of this is our community partners that we work with. We work with Outreach, who specifically work with young adults, and we also partner with Horizon House and other groups, such as Foster Success. With us partnering with them, they’re able to say this is another resource besides what we’re giving you,” said Sorrell-Cobb. “A lot of times they’ll be going through these programs or cohorts and it’s a way for them to have someone walk alongside them as a trusted mentor.”
Mentors can help impact a mentee’s life through leading by example, sharing wisdom gained from life experience, encouraging positive decisions and offering guidance in setting attainable goals.
Trusted Mentors hosted their annual gala with a “Ghoulish” theme Friday, Oct. 13. They were able to raise over $19,000. Although they know it takes sponsorships and money to help achieve their mission, what they need most is mentors.
“Most importantly what we need is mentors. We need mentors particularly from the African American community. There’s no secret, many of those coming out of incarceration, those who are aging out of foster care, and have been from home to home, many of them are of color, and when they come out and they’re needing help, they want to see people who look like them,” said Weathersby.
To learn more about Trusted Mentors, become a mentor or donate, visit www.trustedmentors.org.