On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, DonCARES Executive Director Donovan Forrest had the unique chance to talk to board members during Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region's Quarterly Board Meeting. The Quarterly Board Meeting was held at Cradle to Crayons in East Falls.
Forrest was invited by Abigail Ellis, Executive Director of Mentor, Independence Region to talk about how Mentor IR helped DonCARES pursue its mentoring goals. Forrest spoke on his experience working with The Mentoring Partnership and Resource Center (Now Mentor, IR) for the past three years, saying how much they have contributed to the development of the organization.
"While I reflected on the impact of Mentor IR on our organization's development, I thought of three points. The first point was the impact of mentor training. Mentor IR helped us create a training module that has allowed our mentors to feel comfortable mentoring youth. Many of our college students have never served as a mentor before so, it was important that they received training." Forrest said.
In his five minute speech at the beginning of the meeting, Forrest showed 30 Board Members from Big Brothers Big Sisters a clip from CBS 3 Philly. After his presentation on the impact of Mentor Independence Region, Marcus Allen, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters shared some encouraging words with Forrest. It's always great seeing young black men stepping up in the community. Earlier you told me you see me as a role model, and I see you as one too." Forrest who has looked up to Allen since first seeing him at an event at Penn Law in 2016 was excited to get a picture with him after volunteering with Cradles to Crayons.
"Being amongst Big Brothers Big Sisters' Board Members who are primarily attorneys and seasoned professionals felt like I was at the White House. Being around so many people who believe in mentoring as much as you do was like a breath of fresh air.": Forrest said to a BBBS Board Member during the networking event prior to the previously planned service activity.