Mentee of the Month- New Series

Ramon Velez is recognized as the January 2019 DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. Mentee of the Month. Velez, a current Senior of the U School, and Army Bound Recruit was selected because of his commitment to his education and his perseverance in dealing with life's challenges.

Velez is currently a Senior at The U School and very passionate about creative writing.

DonCARES Executive Director Donovan Forrest met Velez after speaking in U School Humanities Teacher Charlie McGheean's class in September of last year. During their initial conversation, Velez told Forrest about his interest in the military. Velez has an uncle who served in the Marine Corps.

Velez who was born and raised in North Philadelphia is no stranger to hardship. In his many conversations with his mentee Kevin, Ramon discusses the racial divide in his neighborhood in Philadelphia. Ramon's mentor Kevin Jackson is currently an engineering major and junior transfer at Temple University. The two were matched in October and regularly meet during school hours. When asked how their mentoring relationship is going, Kevin replied: "It's going well, I got him a journal for Christmas." Ramon who is an avid writer often shares his poetry with all who will spend the time to read his work. As soon as Ramon he received his certificate, he looked at it in awe and said: "thank you." In addition, Forrest handed him a $25.000 gift card to Blaze Pizza as a reward for being selected as a mentee of the month.

Mentoring, when implemented correctly, can cultivate a young person's positive self-esteem, motivate, and inspire them to accomplish their goals. As a mentor, you gain leadership skills, personal growth, and the satisfying feeling that you are making a positive difference in the lives of youth. If you are interested in joining the DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. mentoring program or want to volunteer please contact

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