THE COMMMERCIAL APPEAL
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | Memphis, TN | LOCAL NEWS My Life/Greater Memphis
Children write notes of appreciation to MAM, Dream Academy mentors
Children at Memphis Athletic Ministries and the U.S. Dream Academy share the letters they have written in appreciation of their mentors.
Antonio Caradine (left), Davonte Echols and Jarrell Chaffin learn how to run a business by working at The Groves Grocery at the Memphis Athletic Ministries Bethel LaBelle Youth Center.
Ms. Catherine and Mr. Jesse:
I feel as if you two are huge benefits in my life not only at MAM every day, but helping me think about college. I greatly appreciate the time that you two take out of your daily schedule just to come help us make ourselves better. I’m most appreciative of your help with the store Groves Grocery. You guys are giving us a chance to learn how to run a business, even if it is small. The financial literacy classes you all teach are also crucial to my future. There were a lot of things that I learned in those few hours that would’ have taken me years to understand. So basically what I’m trying to say is that I’m grateful for you guys and the opportunities you have given me.
— Rodrigo Brooks, Grade 12 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Ms. Catherine and Mr. Jesse:
You guys have made a major impact on my life. Before you guys came to MAM Bethel LaBelle, I wasn’t on the right path. When I met you guys I felt like there was someone who wanted to help me be successful. I knew that day that I wanted to do the right thing and make something out of my life. You have taught me so much since you’ve been coming to the center. Our financial literacy class has also taught me many things. I appreciate all of the opportunities that you are giving me.
— Davante Echols, Grade 12 Memphis Athletic Ministries
During the time Mr. Jessie and Ms. Catherine have spent at MAM Bethel LaBelle, they have been very helpful and caring. Since the first day I met them, we have had a tight bond. I have learned so much from them. In the financial literacy class that they taught, we learned about interest rates, debts, loans, and money. They have showed us how much they care by being a part of our everyday lives. At MAM, we have recently opened a store that was founded by them to help us understand how the real world works. That’s why I love these guys!!!!
— Antonio Caradine, Grade 11 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Christa Hammons (center) serves as a mentor to both Calvinisa Massey (left) and India Trotter. Christa coaches the girls in basketball and helps them with their school work.
Ms. Christa –
Thank you for coming to MAM. I love you because you help me through everything. I would like to thank you for helping me with my homework. You help us when we do not know what to do. When we have a game at MAM, you make popcorn. You are the best coach ever and you help me care about God.
— Terrenishia Thomas, Grade 4 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Coach Christa –
You’re pretty, nice, funny, helpful and one of the best coaches that we have ever had. You help us with our homework so that we always get it right. I am jealous of your soft hair. The day I got an N you told me to do better and that’s what happened.
— India Trotter, Grade 2 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Ms. Christa –
Thank you for helping me get a handle on my anger problems. You are the best thing that has ever happened to this gym. Also, I love your cookies. Thank you for showing us a good time and helping the girls learn to act like ladies.
— Calvinisia Massey, Grade 8 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Tommy Mambourg serves as a mentor for Javion Deberry through the Memphis Athletic Ministries at St. Andrew Youth Center in South Memphis.
Coach Tommy –
I want to thank you for helping me through my problems and I want to thank you for the special times we have with you. When I have problems I always come see you because I know that you are willing to help me through it. My friends and I are very thankful for what you have taught us and how you have poured into our lives. You have taught us that without God we are lost in life.
— Javion Deberry, Grade 7 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Coach Tommy is a nice and funny man. He is warm hearted and is always positive. He also never lets people down. I know he loves kids, because he never talks or acts mean to us. He always tells us to not quit and to work hard. Coach Tommy teaches us to have a positive influence towards the real world. Coach Tommy is the best positive role model to me.
— Ronald Miller, Grade 8 Memphis Athletic Ministries
Mrs. Virgie Banks has earned an “A” from the Cooper family. She is always available to us. She calls and checks on us twice during the week and once on the weekend. Ms. Bank helps with special school projects and home outings. She shares her time with her family and we have become part of the family. Her husband has become a role model and we are very appreciative for Mrs. Banks and the Project AWARE Mentoring Program.
— Stacayla, 12, Markezia, 13, and Jabez, 11, Cooper, Project AWARE
Mr. Al Nance is heaven sent. I could not have been matched with a better mentor. He goes above and beyond his mentoring responsibilities. He taught me things that will help me as I grow into a young man. He is always there when I need him. He is loved by my family as well. Thanks Mr. Nance. You are the GREATEST!!!!!
— Gerrell Childress, 12, Project AWARE
Mr. LaDarius is a very kind and loving person. I enjoy having him as my mentor. He has taken the time from his schoolwork to come and help me. I thank God for blessing me with him. Sometimes I wonder why my mentor chose me out of all the other kids around me. This is my present from me to you. Thank you for all the things you have done for me, for the love and care you showed me. I think back when I was bad. All I need was someone like you to show me the right road. He knows what makes me sad and glad. My mentor always encourages me to be the best man that I can be.
— Ky’ron Martin, Grade 5 U.S. Dream Academy
I thank God Ms. Carly is my mentor. Thanks for helping me deal with my attitude. You have helped me with dreams, because I would like to become a basketball star. I appreciate you very much. I know that you go to school and you still have time for me.
— Tareni Johnson, Grade 4 U.S. Dream Academy
Thank you for being my mentor, Mr. Adam. I feel like I can tell you all my problems. I think you are the best mentor around. I can’t wait to see you again. I am so glad that I have you as a mentor. I would like to spend some time with you, sometime other than school. I thank you for being my mentor and in my life. I think you are funny, caring, and loving. I really appreciate what you do for me. I look forward to seeing you every week. Your understanding my problems and your love is what I need.
— Jaylon Hunt, Grade 5 U.S. Dream Academy
I’m 11 years old. My mentor is so nice. We play games and draw. Sometimes my mentor comes on Thursday. I wish she could come every day. That makes me very happy. Sometimes I wonder why my mentor chose me. God must have sent her to my life. Because of all the encouragement and fun things we do, I enjoy being with you.
— Patricia Nelson, Grade 4 U.S. Dream Academy