Third annual Northwest Indiana Mentor Summit to be held Jan. 27 at IUN


Hammond native leads grantmaking and fund stewardship initiatives

Legacy Foundation, Lake County's leading philanthropic partner, has named Lara Kalwinski as Vice President.

Basheer Jones, a poet, motivational speaker, radio host and activist, will keynote Northwest Indiana's third annual Mentor Summit, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest.

The summit offers organizers of youth mentoring programs, and adults interested in mentoring youth, information about creating effective and sustainable mentoring opportunities. Registration is $25 per person, including lunch. Registration at the door is $35. The Mentor Summit is produced by the Center for Mentors co-op members and is held each January during National Mentoring Month.

At 27, Jones has achieved a reputation as an engaging and inspiring leader. He hails from Cleveland, Ohio, by way of Brooklyn, N.Y. He credits the influence of a mentoring program during high school, and its leader who became a "father figure" to him, with much of his inspiration to pursue his dreams. He went on to graduate from Morehouse College with honors, is an acclaimed spoken word artist, Essence Award winner, was the youngest news talk radio host in the country, and founded The Basheer Jones Foundation. He was a leader of youth voter registration efforts and community rallies during the 2008 presidential election.

"Like Basheer, most successful adults can point to at least one person who influenced their lives when they were younger," said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. "Mentoring can improve a child's educational experience as well as opportunities for the future. We have terrific resources in Northwest Indiana to create and support a variety of mentoring programs, and this summit gives the business and non-profit communities tools to further those resources."

Breakout sessions during the Mentor Summit will include:

  • Elements of effective practice, facilitated by Cindy Borden, a trainer, facilitator and technical assistance provider with more than 15 years of experience in youth development.
  • Building quality mentoring relationships based on best practices, facilitated by Dr. Clara Giles Carter, Ed.D., president of Management Consultant Services, a human resource management firm that has provided technical assistance in building and maintaining collaborations directed to community outreach in preparing youth for the future workforce.
  • Attendees also will participate in a session on outcome evaluation, or tools for evaluating mentoring programs, presented by Candice Singleton of the Indiana Youth Institute.

For more information and to register for the Mentor Summit, contact Eric Evans at Geminus Corporation at (219) 757-1883 or eric.evans@geminus.org.

New this year, Jones also will speak at a Teen Summit to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, 7770 Corrine Drive, Hammond. This event is free and open to the first 100 students who register. Contact Barry Tyler at btyler@legacyfoundationlakeco.org for more information.

The Center for Mentors is an initiative of Legacy Foundation facilitated in partnership with Geminus Prevention Services. Since its founding in 2010, the Center has trained more than 150 people to work with youth through virtual and place-based strategies to promote mentoring in Northwest Indiana.