Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Awards Presented to Two Spring Branch ISD Mentors

At the Texas Mentoring Summit, Bruce Rollins (second row, left) was named Outstanding Adult Mentor, and Julie Eisenhauer (first row, right) was named Outstanding Advocate for Mentoring.
Two Spring Branch ISD mentors, Julie Eisenhauer and Bruce Rollins, won state recognition recently during the fourth annual Texas Mentoring Summit held Jan. 21-22 and hosted by The University of Texas at San Antonio.

The two SpringBoard mentors won separate awards. Eisenhauer was named the summit’s Outstanding Advocate for Mentoring, and Rollins was selected as the Outstanding Adult Mentor for 2016.

A former SBISD teacher, Ms. Eisenhauer has been the mentor coordinator with Memorial Drive United Methodist Church for about six years. A mentor herself, she coordinates recruitment of church mentors at Hollibrook Elementary School.

In addition, she plans holiday parties for mentors, student “mentees” and family members, as well as group field trips to Audubon Bird Sanctuary located next to the Memorial Drive church. She mentors several students on her own as well as juggling campus needs, schedule changes and mentoring events.

“Ms. Julie is like a second mom to me,” one mentee stated in her nomination. “She has been there since I can remember, and I can tell her things that I don’t have the courage to tell my parents and friends.”

Ms. Eisenhauer, who was interviewed by journalist Randy Beamer with News 4 in San Antonio, spoke with enthusiasm about receiving her award and mentoring.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said of the award. “I am shocked and so very honored. Mentoring is second nature to me, but everyone should be mentoring. There are so many children who need a significant adult in their lives who can broaden their horizons. That’s what we are doing [as mentors], broadening their horizons and giving them a chance to do anything they want to do.”

Bruce Rollins currently mentors three brothers at three separate SBISD campuses – Westchester Academy for International Studies, and both Northbrook Middle and Northbrook High schools. Each student wrote glowing letters of recommendation. All are growing academically and in character under the guidance of “Mr. Bruce.”

“I wish all boys like me had my mentor, Mr. Bruce, in their life . . . Mr. Bruce is helpful and you can always count on him!!!” exclaimed one of his mentees.

Although the two SBISD mentors were chosen as award winners in San Antonio, SBISD’s Customer Services and Community Relations Specialist Becky Wuerth said their example speaks for so many mentors across the district.

“They represents all of our outstanding mentors and advocates who faithfully visit mentees across the district every week and champion the SpringBoard Mentoring Program to their friends, family and co-workers,” she reports. “Mr. Bruce and Ms. Julie are proxy winners for all of our wonderful mentors who we are honoring during National Mentoring Month.”

Learn more about SBISD’s SpringBoard Mentoring Program >>

Eisenhauer encouraged others to become mentors in an interview with TV News 4 San Antonio. No special knowledge or experience is needed, she said.

“We’re not tutoring. You don’t need to know curriculum. You are an advocate for this one child. You are answering questions. They don’t know too much about the world we live in, and they don’t have many experiences. You share about your life and experiences with them,” she said.

Belinda Saldana Harmon with UT-San Antonio’s Office of P-20 Initiatives shares a best-kept secret in the mentoring world: It works!

“The research tells us that a student who has a mentor is more likely to have better attendance, more likely to avoid negative behaviors, and more likely to continue on in higher education,” she told New 4’s Randy Beamer.

“And we know that the students who are successful in school are the students who are going to graduate from high school, and then go beyond.”


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