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Becoming A Mentor Helps Children And Communities Thrive

While other kids were tuned into Saturday morning cartoons, Erika Glover was watching the news and listening to NPR. “I was always naturally inquisitive and I knew since I was in kindergarten that I wanted to be a news anchor,” she says. “My kindergarten teacher actually told my mom that I was going to be on television one day.”

Her childhood aspiration came to fruition when she landed her first job in Hazard, Kentucky. She then moved on to Miami, Florida, and now she’s in Music City as an anchor on FOX 17 News. “I came here for an interview and I just really fell in love with the area,” says Erika. “I love the mountains and being outdoors. It's also closer to my family in South Carolina than Miami was and I like the people; I really missed that Southern hospitality.”

In addition to the news, she also has a passion for Big Sisters and Big Brothers of Middle Tennessee. “My mom and dad volunteered with the program when I was younger, so naturally I gravitated towards the idea of doing it because I knew I wanted to make a difference in kids’ lives. Not all of them are given the same opportunities and exposure that I was given. If kids don't know what's possible, they then don't follow certain career paths. It isn’t because they're not educated or can’t do it - they just don’t know about them.”

While Erika has volunteered in person in the past, because she’s now pregnant, she’s currently doing a virtual mentoring program through an app called MentorHub. Her “little sister,” Sibongile, is focusing on being college ready and Erika is helping her with that. “I also check in with her and ask how she’s feeling - sort of like a mental health check. I can shoot her a message on the app and say, ‘Good morning. I hope you have a great day’ or ‘Are you prepared for the day?’”

The organization, she stresses, is always in need of more male mentors. “So many boys and young adults need a positive male role model in their lives,” she says. “If we want to make a difference in our communities, then we have to start by saying, ‘Hey, let me help you. Let me show you that we are involved and that someone out there cares about you.’ If these kids hear that from just one person, that can make all the difference.”

MentorAKid.org

“So many boys and young adults need a positive male role model in their lives,” she says. “If we want to make a difference in our communities, then we have to start by saying, ‘Hey, let me help you. Let me show you that we are involved and that someone out there cares about you.’ If these kids hear that from just one person, that can make all the difference.”

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