Mentors Matter

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Doug Oliphant, a senior ISC supervisor and HOPE Scholarship mentor, knows when his phone pings late at night, it’s likely his mentee that needs him. Doug is mentoring Isaiah Williams, who is enrolled in Longview Community College’s Engineering Technology Program.

“My mentor, Doug, has helped me with more things than I could say,” said Isaiah.

January is National Mentoring Month with Thursday, January 31 designated as Thank Your Mentor Day, and Isaiah says there aren’t enough words to thank Doug for his mentorship. He describes Doug as a caring adult and a best friend. Doug says he’s had to be more than a professional mentor to Isaiah, who faced major transportation and financial challenges during his first semester in college.

“Sometimes you are a life coach along with being a school mentor, helping them manage their life that may be in chaos,” said Doug.

Doug has refused to give up on Isaiah. He organized meetings with Isaiah’s guidance counselor at Longview, helped him navigate the tutoring services on campus and is working to teach him soft skills that will help him find success in school and the workplace.

“I do not want to see someone fail, especially when you know this may be one of the best changes they have to change their life for the better,” said Doug. “My mentee has texted me as late as 11:30 p.m. with questions that may or may not relate to school. It is rewarding to know he has faith in me to be there no matter what the time or subject.”

Isaiah says Doug plays a key role in helping him stay focused on his goals.

“Doug motivates me to do better and strive higher,” said Isaiah. “He proved to me there are people who are still willing to help, even when the odds are stacked against you.”

There are 16 Honeywell employees who are currently mentoring students in Honeywell’s HOPE and Black Achievers Scholarship Programs. Dozens of new mentors will be needed for the next cycle of scholarship recipients this spring. If you are interested in mentoring a student, please contact Ashlee Parker-Osborne.

“It really opens your eyes to how lucky most of us are,” said Doug. “It’s definitely rewarding to know you are helping someone change their future.”

If you’ve benefited from a mentor, make sure you say thanks on Thank Your Mentor Day.