Seedling 2024 Mentor Appreciation Luncheon
June 3, 2024

On May third, at our 19th Annual Mentor Appreciation Luncheon, we had the honor and privilege of recognizing you – our mentors, partners and supporters – for being the heart and soul of Seedling!  Rob Faubion, our Master of Ceremony began the celebration with heartfelt thanks for all of the love, energy, and time that you so generously give to Seedling. It is through your collective support and dedication that our mission transforms from an idea into a meaningful part of the life of every person involved in Seedling mentoring.  

 A beloved highlight of the Mentor Appreciation Luncheon is hearing from a Seedling mentee.  This year, Nevaeh and her mentor Megan joined in conversation with Seedling Chief Programs Officer, Connie Howe, to share their story and help us remember the tremendous impact mentoring has on our mentees.  Neveah shared,

We meet every Thursday, which is my favorite part of the week.  I get to see my favorite person and talk about anything with her. This program helped me connect with this wonderful person, which enabled me to experience a beautiful friendship, which in turn helped me be more open to new things and new opportunities.” 

The Angels and Advocates Award, 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 was given to Ralph Guerrero, a dedicated and reliable mentor since 2006. During his seventeen years of mentoring with Seedling, he has mentored six students, including a recent match that just closed after eight years. Ralph believes his mentees over the years have impacted his life just as positively as he’s impacted theirs.    Ralph’s passion for making a difference in the lives of children impacted by parental incarceration has inspired many of his colleagues to follow in his footsteps and become Seedling mentors. This enthusiasm led to Ralph recruiting the majority of our mentors in Hays Consolidated ISD.

The Seedling 8th grade College Scholarships were founded in 2007 by Kalí and Dan Rourke to send a strong and clear message to 8th graders in the Seedling Mentor Program:  We believe in you! When founded, each awardee received a $5,000.00 scholarship.  This year, the amount increased to $8,000.00 to our 2024 8th grade awardees. 

Thanks to the Treece-Callahan Family Scholarship, since 2022 Seedling has been able to offer Seedling Seniors the opportunity to apply for an incredible $10,000 scholarship.  Created for the purpose to substantially alleviate the financial challenges faced by a new college student, this award allows the student to focus on their studies, thrive in the academic setting and attain their degree.  

The room burst with applause as five 8th grade Seedling scholarship recipients made their way to the podium with their mentor or proud parent, along with the graduating seniors who were scholarship recipients just 4 short years ago (one of whom additionally won the Treece-Callahan Family Scholarship!).   Congratulations to all!

We are humbled to honor all of our mentors!  Our “round of applause” tradition is always the favorite of the hour as we take time to recognize the volunteer spirit of our Seedling Mentors with fanfare.  We know that showing up week after week to build and nurture and grow the future leaders of our community takes commitment and heart!  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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