Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

February 6, 2014

Ramirez, Good named outstanding mentors

OKLAHOMA CITY — Claremore residents Agustin “Gus” Ramirez of the Volunteers for Youth PAL Program and Lonnie Good, a volunteer with STARBASE Oklahoma, were among fifty-two outstanding Oklahoma youth mentors who were honored Jan. 15 during the second annual Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol presented by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative.

“The goal of Oklahoma Mentor Day is to recognize outstanding mentors from all types of youth mentoring organizations around the state and to provide fun, educational activities for the honorees and their mentees to share,” said Beverly Woodrome, director of the Boren Mentoring Initiative. “Mentor Day also draws attention to the value of mentoring and the tremendous impact that mentors make in their mentees’ lives.” Mentor Day is held in conjunction with National Mentoring Month in January.

The initiative, named for foundation founder and chairman David L. Boren and his wife, Molly, grew out of Boren’s own commitment to mentoring and the proven impact that mentoring can have on a student’s success in and out of the classroom. The initiative was launched in 2006 to promote the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs statewide. Since then, more than 100 Oklahoma mentoring organizations have joined the foundation’s network.

Mentoring Day honorees were selected by their respective programs within the Mentoring Initiative network. Each recipient received a Certificate of Recognition signed by Boren. The award presentations, which took place in the House of Representatives’ Chambers, were made by Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence President Les Risser of Norman. Past president and trustee Patti Mellow of Oklahoma City read descriptions about each outstanding mentor.

More than 200 people, including mentors, mentees and representatives from state mentoring organizations attended the day’s events. Mentor Day included hands-on educational activities presented by the Oklahoma City Zoo Education Department and Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program. Guests also enjoyed live jazz music by Chris Hicks and Mitch Bell and juggling lessons by Bill Williams. Capping off the day was a mentor-mentee outing to the Devon Ice Rink in downtown Oklahoma City.

Ramirez was selected by Claremore’s Volunteers for Youth PAL Program as its Outstanding Mentor. “Gus is the answer to prayer that many mentor agencies seek,” said Celina Davis, recruitment and retainment specialist, Volunteers for Youth. “He is a young-at-heart, active retiree who cheerfully participates in every facet of our agency. As a Volunteers for Youth Board Member, he provides inspiration and motivation to fellow board and staff members, alike.”

No job is too big or too small for Ramirez, Davis said. He practiced the Tango like a pro to represent Volunteers for Youth at the local Dancing with the Stars charity event.  He tutors in an English class and leads an English-as-a-Second-Language group he calls “The Mexican Revolution.”

He mentors five students who were also recognized at Oklahoma Mentor Day: Kelby Brooks, Wyatt Haney, Alex Harvey, Austin McMahan and Ernesto Solis. “His mentees all know that Gus has got their backs and will not let them fail,” Davis said.

Good, a technical trainer at NORDAM, was selected as the Outstanding Mentor by the Department of Defense STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program at Hamilton Elementary in Tulsa.

STARBASE 2.0 combines STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities with a relationship-rich, school-based environment serving at-risk youth making the transition from elementary to middle school.  

STARBASE 2.0 uses a team mentoring approach, with three to four students meeting with one adult mentor for four hours each month during the school year and focusing on a STEM project, team building and goal setting.

“Contagiously enthusiastic, Mr. Good was instrumental in recruiting two additional mentors from NORDAM,” said Pamela Kirk, director of the Department of Defense STARBASE Oklahoma program. “He demonstrated to the students how it is possible to succeed in programs that provide access to future STEM opportunities.  

The teams of students, with guidance from mentors, used the Engineering Design Process to construct a remote-controlled operational submersible robot.”

For more information about Oklahoma Mentor Day or the Boren Mentoring Initiative, visit www.okmentors.org  or contact Beverly Woodrome, program director, at (405) 236-0006.

1
Text Only
State/Nation
  • Gas prices continue falling in Oklahoma

    AAA Oklahoma says gas prices continue to drop in the state as demand nationwide drops below 9 million barrels per day.

    July 29, 2014

  • Perry: Texas plans to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to bolster security along the Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA renames building for Neil Armstrong

    NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • New arrivals worry some in the Oklahoma panhandle

    A family who says they were excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect has moved to a small city located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, raising concerns among some residents.

    July 20, 2014

  • Celebrate 45 years since man's first steps on the moon

    Now's the time to get moonstruck.

    Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step ... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

    July 20, 2014

  • US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma Capitol renovation project previewed

    State officials have previewed preliminary plans for renovating the century-old Oklahoma State Capitol amid a display of artifacts from groundbreaking ceremonies for the structure.

    July 17, 2014

  • House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

    The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

    One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

    July 17, 2014

  • Should online accounts die when you die?

    Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

    July 17, 2014

  • Obama, Putin discuss Malaysia Plane incident

    The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have discussed the Malaysia Airlines plane incident over eastern Ukraine.

    July 17, 2014