School will soon be back in session, which means Fall semester programming is right around the corner.  This is a really exciting time of year for The Mentoring Project as we settle back into matching and overseeing mentors and mentees at two gang prevention program sites here in Oklahoma City.  

The kids are on our hearts as they prepare for school in the coming weeks.  One of our mentors brought to our attention a church in town that is hosting a Backpacks for Kids event, one that will allow students and families to stock up on school supplies before being back in the classroom.  It made us think there are probably several of those events happening in the next few weeks, so we did some research.

HERE is a list of school supply / backpack drive events happening in the OKC metro area in the months of July and August.*  

Mentors, this could be a great way to show support and interest in your mentee's schooling efforts.  Remember, we become like the people we hang around and your spirit is contagious to them!  Your encouragement in this area of their life could make a huge difference.      

We're excited to start building out some other fun goals for mentor / mentee interactions this semester.  What are some other ways you can think of to intersect your mentee's educational and extracurricular activities experiences this school year?  Let us know with a comment below.    


*For those of you not based in the Oklahoma City area, you can easily find Back to School events in your community with a basic Google search.  

- Watching the Highlight Reel [video]

Renowned Dallas Cowboys chaplain and CEO of the National Center for Fathering, Carey Casey, sat down with The Mentoring Project to talk about the power of walking with someone you care about.  Carey tells the insider story of how we all just want help us celebrating our "highlight reel" - even successful, professional athletes.

This quick video will inspire you to exercise the power of presence in someone else's life.  Who can you show up for this week?  Watch and share this video with a mentor, teacher or coach as a way to affirm how they show up and celebrate the highlight reel for kids who need a friendly face in the stands, classroom or community.

Long live mentoring,
TMProject Staff


We are humbled by the support of "Don't Buy the Tie!" 
Your blogs, tweets, posts and pictures made this one of the most successful Father's Day campaigns ever! People signed up to become mentors, donations came from 36 states + DC and Canada, lots of dads and mentors received heartfelt tributes of thanks. Many churches all over the country caught onto the advocacy idea as well - they wore bad ties to church, took pictures, and donated to support The Mentoring Project. Because of Don't Buy the Tie, we are able to recruit more mentors for our gang prevention partnership in OKC. We hit our recruitment goal MONTHS ahead of schedule - thanks to you and Don't Buy the Tie 2015.

Thank you for your continued support of The Mentoring Project - as we rewrite the fatherless story through mentoring together.
The best is yet to be! 
John Sowers

P.S. Want to see some of the epic social media posts in support of Don't Buy the Tie? Head on over to The Mentoring Project's Facebook page --> click here.

- Autographed Books for Father's Day #dontbuythetie

You guys are making our Father's Day Don't Buy the Tie campaign a great on-ramp for supporting mentors. THANK YOU.  

For ONLY $10 A MONTH folks are sending their Dad/Mentor autographed books, new-fresh music and award-winning Tanager whole bean coffee. 

Can you imagine how thrilled your Dad/Mentor will be to open an AUTOGRAPHED copy of If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski, When Justice Rolls Down by Dr. John Perkins, Heroic Path by John Sowers or Scary Close by Donald Miller? Collectors items!

Check out autographed books and all of the Father's Day gift options at dontbuythetie.com.  

Gift, give, DONE.

- This Father's Day, DON'T BUY THE TIE

This Father's Day, DON'T BUY THE TIE

DON'T BUY THE TIE is The Mentoring Project's annual fundraiser and advocacy campaign to shine the spotlight on kids who need a champion.  Many of you have a great dad to honor on Father's Day.  But, for over 25 million young people, they don't have a relationship to celebrate on Father's Day.  Father's Day is a rough day for these kids who feel like they are missing out on something big with a dad they don't really know.  

Read More

- OKC #MentorMoment - Bulls Eye May 16th

We're gearing up for another #MentorMoment - This time we'll test our skills with a bow and arrow at Crystal Lake - the newly renovated target range and park in southwest Oklahoma City.  

Come join The Mentoring Project as lots of OKC mentors and mentees try archery for the very first time!  Prizes for anyone who hits a bulls eye - lunch for everyone whether or not you ever contact the target.  It's going to be a beautiful day in the park - we cannot wait!

Will you and your mentee join us for lunch and archery?   If yes, RSVP to advocate@thementoringproject.org
When:  Saturday May 16, 2015 from 11:00am to 1:30pm.  
Where:  Crystal Lake located at 6625 SW 15th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73128

We look forward to seeing you there!
Long live mentoring, 
Team @TMProject

- Long Live Mentoring :: Paul from Ohio

Long Live Mentoring :: Paul from Ohio

As we gear up for #LongLiveMentoring 2015, we want to share with you some of the experiences and insights from last year’s conference.  It was a wonderful three-day event in Oklahoma City full of inspiration, increased relationship and practical mentoring resources. 

Today we feature Paul Hemminger, who drove from Columbus, Ohio to attend our LONG LIVE MENTORING 2014.

Read More

- Mentee's Favorite Thing is "EVERYTHING" {Mentor Moment Video}

Mentee's Favorite Thing is "EVERYTHING" {Mentor Moment Video}

The Mentoring Project regularly presents Mentor Moments as an exciting opportunity to keep individual mentors connected to the wider mentoring community.  Mentor Moments are key to our mentor development programming.  Mentors who feel connected to something bigger than their individual efforts stay in their match significantly longer - ultimately benefiting kids and giving relationships a chance to grow.  

Read More

- Grand Entrances :: by Daniel De Jesus

Grand Entrances :: by Daniel De Jesus

I was 16 weeks old when my parents split. I’d been breathing in the best air quality inner-city Chicago had to offer for a total of 4 months before they decided to close the curtain on their five year marriage. So much for my grand entrance. If that doesn’t bruise the ego, I don’t know what does.

I’m 30 now and I’m still not completely sure of the reason my mom and dad decided to end their 5-year marriage. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve asked many times over the years and have gotten pieces of what I believe to be the truth. But I still haven’t received the answer I’ve been looking for. Maybe I never will. I’ve asked my mom and my dad individually (who were obviously too close to the story to be objective). I’ve asked my brother (who was a few years older than me at the time of the divorce, granting him a string of memories of my parent’s relationship that I lack and envy). I’ve even asked many other family members and close family friends. And, interestingly enough, each of these people had their own version of the sequence of events leading up to dissolution of our little family. Who was I supposed to believe?

Read More

- BOOK CLUB:: Fatherless Generation by John Sowers

BOOK CLUB:: Fatherless Generation by John Sowers

We're thrilled that many of you use The Mentoring Project's mentor training portfolio to recruit and train mentors - over 360 communities across North America have used our Mentor Toolkit since it's launch!  

We always strongly recommend pairing FATHERLESS GENERATION with our Mentor Field Guide to maximize the relational focus of mentoring.

Read More

- The Mentoring Project Launches Summer Internship

The Mentoring Project Launches Summer Internship

Can you think of anything more exciting than a leader launching her new dream?  We cannot.  We love the "got it" moment in our mentees - that moment of bravery that turns their life in a whole new direction.  

Lots of you want to be brave and help us invest in the lives of young people.  We've been getting lots of inquiries about internship and job opportunities - we love eager entrepreneurs looking for a way to pay it forward!  

Read More

- 10 Questions for a T-shirt

Oklahoma Friends,
Thank you so much for being interested in and invested in mentoring.  The Mentoring Project OKC staff is working out our programming and priorities for the rest of 2015.

If you answer these 10 quick questions, we'll thank you by sending you a free t-shirt form The Mentoring Project ($22 value).
Let's all work together to make Oklahoma the BEST place to be a young person.

Long live mentoring,

- Long Live Mentoring 2015 :: Gaining Steam

Long Live Mentoring 2015 :: Gaining Steam

Things are booming behind the scenes as we are planning an amazing experience for you. Our speaker schedule is SLAMMED with incredible, inspiring folks who will be your new favorite (or remain your very favorite) people on the planet.  We've incorporated your feedback to make this year's experience even more authentic, communal, informative and full of practical "start here" steps.  You will walk away illuminated and connected.  Now, all we need is a time machine to get us to September already!

Read More