May 5th, 2023
May 31, 2023

On May 5th  we had the honor and privilege of recognizing you, our mentors, partners and supporters, for being the heart and soul of Seedling at our 18th Annual Mentor Appreciation Luncheon.  Master of ceremony Rob Faubion joined us once more to shine the spotlight on you and lead the celebration of Seedling’s accomplishments.  This year we made 250 new matches and served 501 students. You, our mentors, community, and partners, are the key to help unlock countless possibilities for the thousands of youth we’ve served over the past 18 years. 

One of those youth, a current Seedling Mentee and graduating Senior, spoke to the crowd to share  her mentoring journey.  Jordyn was first introduced to her mentor, Desiree, when she was in the third grade.  She recalled being scared and anxious, wondering “how do I get to know this stranger?”  Now, finishing their 10th year together, Jordyn is especially thankful for the unconditional love and acceptance Desiree has shown her.  She shared:

 “The Seedling program has given me more than a mentor, companion, a family member, and true friend, they have given me an opportunity to share my story.  I am giving thanks to all the Seedling mentors that are supporting kids like me.  Your time and efforts are truly making a difference.”

Each year at the Seedling Mentor Appreciation Luncheon, the Angels and Advocates 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. This year we honor the Rangel Concrete Company Inc.  The Rangel family has volunteered and donated to Seedling since its inception,  when it was known as the Travis Education Foundation.  The Rangel Concrete Company  joined Seedling founder John Blazier to beautify Austin ISD campuses and help with a vocational program, then continued giving time and funding as the organization transitioned to become the Seedling mentoring program it is today. The Rangel family are Seedling mentors and have been instrumental in recruiting volunteers, especially in Hays CISD. They also worked their magic at the 2023 Fab Five Gala, by making the venue beautiful for a successful fundraising event.

Our mentor recognition tradition is always the favorite of the hour because we take time to honor the work of our Seedling Mentors and school partners with fanfare and applause.  We know that showing up week after week to build and nurture and grow the future leaders of our community takes commitment and heart!  This year our appreciation of Stand up Seedling Mentors was sung to the tune of “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles. Mentors Kalí Rourke and  Linda Thompson generously gave their talent singing this fun tribute accompanied by mentor and Seedling Program Coordinator, Erica Flores, on guitar.  

We are still buzzing from this wonderful event!  We would like to extend a very special thanks to ABC Bank for sponsoring our event and, as always, our heartfelt appreciation to Mr. John Blazier, Seedling’s founder.  We can’t wait to see what next year brings!

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