By Robin Layton
YBBBS Development Director
“These seminars are going to help me become a better mentor, a better Big Sister,” said Prescott Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr at The Power of Mentoring Symposium.
The event was held Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Prescott Resort by Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, in partnership with APS.
Nearly 150 attendees, presenters, sponsors and vendors came together for this inaugural conference on mentoring for all ages.
From senior caregiving to identifying childhood traumas, the symposium embraced the idea that mentoring is for every age.
“Mentoring never really stops, does it? We are often lifetime mentors and mentees, even if we don’t realize we are,” Orr shared with the conference lunch attendees.
Attendees began their day inspired by breakfast Keynote Speaker Jared Wockenfuss, a local youth and men’s pastor. Lunchtime saw Director Maria Cristina Fuentes, of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, delivering a message of the importance of community partnerships, family services and mentoring.
Erin Mabery, executive director of YBBBS, said the symposium will be an annual event for YBBBS, bringing together statewide agencies, nonprofits, educators, counselors and volunteers for a day of sharing, collaboration and learning.
Vendors included Boys Hope Girls Hope, GEM Environmental, Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine, NACOG, NAU Civic Service, AARP, APS, Stop Bullying by Rhonda Orr, Teen Launch Pad, Orme School, Girls on the Run Northern Arizona, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Christian Mentors Network, Yavapai Casa for Kids Foundation, Home for New Beginnings, MATFORCE and Full Circle.
Mandalay Homes volunteers kept the morning registration running smoothly.
The event kicked off officially Friday evening at the resort with a reception and talk on the importance of mentoring given by Frank Shankwitz, creator of Make-A-Wish and inspiration of Wish Man, the movie.
This year’s symposium sponsors included AARP-Arizona, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, The Margaret T. Morris Foundation and Northern Arizona Healthcare.