Joe Hay, Cheyenne and Roy McClendon, Leedey have been recognized by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and their community mentoring organizations during National Mentor Month in January.
Joe Hay is a retired Roger Mills County Sheriff who has been a faithful mentor and positive role model to Kaden for the past five years. Hay is a veteran mentor with the Cheyenne Building Esteem and Responsibility (B.E.A.R.S.) mentoring program.
“Mr. Hay’s outgoing personality has influenced Kaden to become more congenial and social with others,” shared Cheyenne Elementary Principal Belinda Chalfant. “They just click. Mr. Hay has taught Kaden many things and enhanced his metal works and welding skills.”
Hay and Kaden especially enjoy craftsman projects, metal works and shop projects. Their mentor/mentee match has allowed Kaden to further explore his interests, especially with welding. Hay has helped Kaden see and explore his own potential.
“Kaden and Mr. Hay have a wonderful rapport,” shared Chalfant. “Mr. Hay encourages Kaden to stay out of trouble, and Kaden really respects Mr. Hay.”
About this Program: The Cheyenne B.E.A.R.S. mentoring program began in 2014 and works to build esteem and responsibility in the students of Cheyenne schools.
Roy McClendon is a retired teacher who currently volunteers as the mayor of Leedey. He has been matched with sophomore Jacob for the past seven years.
“Mr. McClendon is one of the most dependable and compassionate mentors in the B.I.S.O.N. Mentoring Program,” wrote members of the B.I.S.O.N.
Mentoring Program Board. “He has spent countless extra hours per week helping Jacob with his schoolwork in order to assure Jacob’s academic success. Mr. McClendon also tries to instill good work ethic and life skills.”
The board praised McClendon for spending numerous hours to relearn math concepts and skills so he could better serve his mentee. In addition to working on homework, McClendon and Jacob enjoy playing cards or board games. Jacob especially looks forward to his end-of-year lunch with Mr. McClendon, when the two of them can go downtown to eat and have fun talking.
“Mr. McClendon is friendly and easygoing,” shared Jacob. Mr. McClendon’s constant encouragement and motivation has given Jacob the opportunity to be successful. Jacob is having his best year academically, due in part to his work with Mr. McClendon. About the Program: B.I.S.O.N Mentors is a school-based program that serves pre-K through 12th grade students in Leedey a small community of 435 residents. The program was started by the district and six community board members, who rallied the support of their town. In a short time, the program has had a great impact on the school’s entire student body.
“We salute these outstanding mentors for the important role they play in helping young people achieve better academic, social and economic futures,” said Emily Stratton, executive director of the Foundation for Excellence. “Oklahoma mentors are truly changing lives!”
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a statewide nonprofit that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. Through its statewide mentoring initiative, the foundation promotes the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs. The foundation works with school districts and mentoring organizations to promote mentoring as a positive step toward academic success.