May 28, 2021

We live in Austin, Texas, “The Live Music Capital of the World”, so it is only fitting that we celebrated our amazing volunteer mentors with meaningful song at our 16th Annual Mentor Appreciation Luncheon last month. Rob Faubion, an Austin non-profit professional and entertainer, joined us again as Master of Ceremonies this year to virtually pay tribute to our mentors, expertly highlighting the incredible impact they have had on their Seedling mentees.  “Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, you have remained dedicated, flowed with the changes, adapted to and embraced new approaches in order to continue to provide stellar support and encouragement to the students you mentor”, Faubion praised.  Calling out 1st year through 16th year mentors, he dared us to “try not to sing along” as he shared lyrics from songs celebrating friendship, trust, and the power of relationship.  These lyrics were obviously written for you!

“Gift of a Friend” by Demi Lovato:

“You’ll change inside when you realize the world comes to life and everything’s alright, from beginning to end, when you have a friend”

 Or Dionne Warwick’s tribute to friends:

“Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on me, for sure, that’s what friends are for.”

 Each year we invite a very special young person who has benefited from Seedling mentoring to share their story.  Graduating Senior Eberardo Trejo was matched with his mentor, Tina, in the 7th grade.   You can hear his emotional journey here.

The Seedling Mentor Appreciation Luncheon celebration would not have been complete without sharing this year’s Angels and Advocates Award recipient, Ms. Patt Jackson.  This award is presented to an individual or entity whose advocacy, support, or public action has made a significant difference in the lives of children and families of the incarcerated.  Along with the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Ms. Jackson spearheaded the “Angel Tree” project, which provided holiday gifts to children with an incarcerated parent. We are so thankful for her encouraging, can-do spirit!  The staff here at Seedling are feeling inspired as we imagine what we can accomplish together next year!  We look forward to seeing you in the fall for another meaningful year of Seedling mentoring.

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