During Oklahoma Mentor Day, two members of Tulsa-Asbury UMC were among 52 people recognized at the Capitol for their youth mentoring efforts statewide.
Volunteers Jay Reynolds and Paula Goree were among those honored recently by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative.
Reynolds was selected for the honor by Asbury UMC, which named him Outstanding Mentor for its A&W program (a partnership with Walt Whitman Elementary School).
A pharmacist, Reynolds began volunteering weekly at the school in 2007, assisting students with reading and other activities. In 2010, he teamed up with third-grader Marquay Hamilton.
They eat lunch together weekly and, for the past two years, have given bags of candy to Marquay’s classmates for Christmas.
Barbie Paige, a past A&W coordinator, said Reynolds "has been one of our most dedicated volunteers and a consistent mentor and friend to Marquay."
Asbury UMC named Goree as Outstanding Mentor for its Project Transformation program.
This retired teacher has a long history of mentoring children. She has served many years with Project Transformation, listening to children read and helping with art or computer projects. She also has volunteered with Asbury’s "Lunch Bunch" at Whitman Elementary and has been a Girl Scout leader.
"Paula relates naturally to them," Paige said. "She can be counted on to serve faithfully."
More than 200 people attended Oklahoma Mentor Day. Events included hands-on educational activities, live jazz music, juggling lessons, and skating at Devon Ice Rink.
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Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence President Les Risser, right, presents an Outstanding Mentor Award to Tulsa-Asbury volunteer Paula Goree, left. They are joined by student Jada.
Asbury volunteer Jay Reynolds is joined by Marquay, the student he mentors, during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol.