This past January was National Mentoring Month in the U.S. and we celebrated 15 years of the mentoring movement, connecting our community’s young people with caring adults through meaningful outreach. Mentoring, a critical part of developing lasting relationships within the community, has proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for young people. Team ACDI rallies together day in and day out to provide software solutions and professional services for a vast network of customers and resellers around the country. It’s our employee’s individual contributions to local communities, however, that truly reinforce our company’s culture. Our employees extend their outreach efforts beyond January, enriching the lives of young people in their own unique ways 365 days a year.
Marty Duvall (far right), senior graphic designer and a new Arkansas resident, has been deeply involved with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub over the past seven months.
As an educator, he instructs programs that equip youth with the skills to make and create projects they can be proud of. “My goal as a mentor is to shape ideas that get the kids excited about graphic design,” states Duvall. “They’re only limited by their imaginations.” Each week, Duvall works with a group of teenagers to show them how to turn their extraordinary ideas into reality.
NEAR AND FAR
Last fall, software developer Dan Ndombe organized and hosted the first ever “Hackathon” in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The developer competition, held over a 48-hour period, united many young people to address relevant issues in the region, but Ndombe has also made it a point to impact lives here in Arkansas as well. The Congo-native regularly teams up with Our House to sponsor a family during the holidays. This past holiday season Ndombe and teachers, administrators, and children in the Little Rock and Benton areas spread cheer to Elyas, a 4-year-old Syrian refugee, with over 75 hand-crafted Christmas cards (among other gifts).
In central Arkansas, almost 70% of 4th grade students cannot read at their grade level. AR Kids Read is a local organization that seeks to improve the futures of young people through literacy education and community engagement. ACDI eagerly joined forces with AR Kids Read to redesign their website. Keith Pope and Kellie McCartney were so touched by the mission of AR Kids Read, they immediately jumped at the chance to get involved with the program as mentors. The graphic designer and accounting specialist volunteer each week to work on reading comprehension with 1st – 3rd grade students in a one-on-one setting. As mentors, they’ve committed to developing relationships with their students, serving as an additional support system and the students’ biggest cheerleaders. Pope is excited to be involved with a local elementary school less than 5 minutes away from ACDI’s home office. He wishes to “serve as a role model and someone that the kids can look up to and trust.”
These stories highlight only a fraction of our employees that are passionate about dedicating their time to organizations that enrich the lives of young people. Thank you! 1 in 3 children in America are growing up without a mentor. At ACDI, we are committed to bringing awareness to the mentoring gap for children in need. In our churches, communities, and across the world, we believe that it’s important to provide a guiding hand to our future leaders.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in your community and to find volunteer opportunities visit mentoring.org.