Youth Mentoring Initiative benefits from mayor’s breakfast

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The Youth Mentoring Initiative recently benefited from the annual Mayor’s Breakfast. The event was held virtually Oct. 8. It is YMI’s largest fundraiser.

YMI Executive Director Alison Gatz

The event was hosted by Mayor Scott Fadness and YMI Executive Director Alison Gatz, and it featured former Indianapolis Colts player Joe Reitz along with Brooke Lawson, HSE Schools Mental Health and School Counseling coordinator and YMI mentors and mentees and others who shared the impact mentoring can have on students.

The breakfast raised funds to provide school-based mentoring services to more than 300 students.

“This year, it’s more important than ever that we support our mentees through mentorship,” Gatz stated. “We’ve pivoted our model to provide safe virtual visits with the mentors, mentees, and YMI staff and we know this has helped many of our kids get through the challenges of virtual learning, isolation, and quarantine. But we have more work to do – which will all be made possible by the generosity of our donors and our mentors.”

Gatz also honored longtime board member Steven Orusa, who stepped down as president of the YMI Board of Directors. Orusa, an eight-year board member, served as president since late 2019 and led the organization through exponential growth as the organization increased donations and mentor programming. The YMI Board of Directors elected Joe Eaton as Orusa’s successor, a community supporter and board member since 2019.

As of press time, the event had raised more than $32,000. To donate or to watch the event, visit givebutter.com/ymibreakfast.


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