2007-11-05 Holland Sentinel "Kuipers honors Grand Haven man as youth mentor"

Kuipers honors Grand Haven man as youth mentor
Holland Sentinel

Bob Brophy was honored Friday by state Sen. Wayne Kuipers with the Senator's Award for Men in Mentoring during a presentation at the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance office in Holland. Brophy, of Grand Haven, was recognized for his eight years of outstanding contribution to youth mentoring as a mentor in the Migrant Mentor Program.

"Youth mentors like Bob Brophy illustrate that through guidance and support, each one of us can make a difference in the life of a child in need," said Kuipers, R-Holland. "For more than eight years, Brophy has used his training as a reading specialist to influence the academic success of several at-risk youths. Bob challenged, encouraged and motivated children and their parents to look to the future and see what success can offer them."

The Migrant Mentor Program of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA) matches adult mentors with the children of migrant workers. Brophy has coordinated the donation of books for kids and reading help guides for parents in the program. He also served for five years as a member of the LEDA board of directors.

Throughout his involvement in the Migrant Mentor Program, Brophy has been matched with seven different boys. Currently he mentors two fourteen-year-old boys, named Andy and Armando. Brophy has been matched with Andy for six years, and they have run in the Patriots' Day 5K all but one of those years. Brophy shares a love of sports with his two matches. This bond brings them together and fosters a productive relationship.

The Senator's Award is given monthly to male mentors who volunteer with one of the 14 programs in the Ottawa County Mentoring Collaborative (OCMC). Each award winner receives a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant, donated by Paul Kuiper of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

As a combined effort between Sen. Kuipers and the OCMC, the Senator's Award was created to honor male mentors and encourage other men to consider mentoring.

To learn more about an Ottawa County mentoring program or how to become a mentor, please call Jeffrey Brown at 616-846-8250.