Sometimes we’re led to believe that people in far away communities need the most help, that a dollar here or there will benefit someone today and that giving money is the ultimate sacrifice. While every nonprofit needs funding to function, it’s often times the work of the volunteers, after the money is raised by the organization, that impacts individuals the most.
For one local student, time spent between him and his mentor was so valuable and the impact was so strong that it’s urged him to give.
Kevin, the student in this picture, and Tucker, his mentor, met through the Seedling Mentor Program and have been meeting for lunch every week for the past 5 years. Kevin, who is now a junior in high school, credits Tucker for helping him “stay focused on everything that is positive in his life.”
Without dwelling on his past, Kevin has experienced many hardships in his childhood and is excelling in his teenaged years. His father was arrested when he was younger and then deported. Today his mother works three jobs to keep the bills paid and food on the table. Kevin works extremely hard to be a good student and plans to attend Texas A&M University. He looks forward to college and the opportunity to jump into a career that will change the trajectory of his family.
When Kevin was in middle school, he was leading a tour of the school for Jeff Thomas from HEB. Thomas was so impressed with Kevin, that he offered him a job when he turned 16 years old. A few days after sending in his HEB application, Kevin was in an accident and badly burned, but he did start his job at HEB as soon as he was well enough to work. He is very proud of his job and was offered cashier training after he’d been there for 4 weeks, noting that most employees have to be there for a year before being promoted to cashier.
Over the years, Kevin has had the opportunity to engage with local nonprofits to create a better life. Kevin recognizes and credits his support from the community, not only from Seedling Foundation and his mentor but also from other programs, like United Way, where he not only has benefited from their services but also gives back as a volunteer.
When asked about his Seedling Foundation mentor, Kevin credits him for a lot of his successes, including saying “no” to gang involvement and other life challenges. Kevin has overcome adversity, has a very hopeful attitude and a positive spirit that we hope other students can experience through our mentor program.
Among other opportunities, Kevin won a Seedling Scholarship when he was in 8th grade and looks forward to putting those scholarship funds to work at Texas A&M university in 2018.
Tucker Furlow, Kevin’s mentor, helped create positive experiences in Kevin’s life that we believe will make a great impact on his future, but he isn’t the only mentor and Kevin isn’t the only child whose story deserves improvement. There are hundreds of kids in our community waiting for someone to share lunch with them and encourage their good choices. By supporting recruitment, training, and mentors like Tucker, your gift to the Seedling Foundation can help us share countless stories of redemption and hope. We hope you’ll join us in the work we’re doing to help children just like Kevin achieve great outcomes.