My journey as a mentor began 36 years ago with my nine brothers and two nephews who looked up to me as their big brother. So my journey of mentoring started with my biological family and also with many young boys and girls in my church and at the YMCA in High Point, North Carolina. My mother and father, both members of the Church of Christ, taught me basic spiritual values, and I had experienced my personal relationship with “The Master” on my military tour of duty in Seoul Korea. My lists of mentors were plenty. This has been a spirit filled/led journey with me being used as the scout to plot the path for others. It is fueled by those that I lost to the grave.
The honor of being selected as the National CARES Mentoring Movement’s first Mentor of the Year came as such a surprise. I was driving when I got the word and had to pull off the street and just shed tears. I didn’t even know that I’d been nominated.
You see I had been planning a trip to visit my sister in Compton, California, since I retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2006. My last trip to the see her was in 1986, when one of my brothers played for the L.A. Raiders. About 10 days prior to receiving the award my wife and I had agreed that I should make the trip. From that day forward I thought about purchasing the ticket. I had been wanting to see my sister and family for so long. But my inner spirit kept saying, “Wait!” I watched as gas prices climbed and my spirit still said “Wait.” A structural accident in my home that I had to pay for out of pocket was sending my ticket purchasing hopes flying away again. Now you can see why when Tiffany Lawson called to inform me that I had won the award and that the prize was a round-trip ticket on AirTran anywhere in the U.S. , well let’s just say that the “Mentor” became the “mentee.” I was so grateful, so very humbled, I was moved to tears. God Is Good, All the Time, Everytime!!!
Thank you to my BOTSO family (Brothers Organized To Serve Others) for nominating me! I’m on my way to California!
- From Hank Wall, our 1st Mentor of the Year Honoree