July winner

Mentorship makes the future bright for fourth graders

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Academy 4 provides mentors to local fourth graders to help strengthen relationships between schools, families, churches and communities across Texas.

Our childhood experiences have the power to shape who we are for the rest of our lives. Research shows that pre-adolescence in particular is a crucial time in a child’s healthy development.

This is why members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, Texas, decided to focus on fourth graders when they set out to help local public schools in 2012. The church members partnered with the vice principal, counselor and fourth grade teachers at Daggett Elementary to create an effective mentorship program that later became Academy 4.

 

Safe, supportive relationships

The team at Academy 4 believes that mentoring is the most effective tool to provide children with a greater sense of self-worth and a positive view of the future. Having a supportive and consistent relationship with an adult outside of their immediate family provides children with a safe place to talk, learn and build trust.

 

“I want to set an example for kids in my community that they can start their own business or do whatever it is they’re interested in.”

– Troy Tuomey, Branch Owner at TWFG Insurance Services

 

When Troy Tuomey, branch owner at TWFG Insurance Services, learned about Academy 4 and its work in the community, he thought what better way to make an impact on a young person’s life than to become a mentor. It’s always been important to Tuomey that his agency gives back to the community and joining forces with Academy 4 seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that.

“I want to set an example for kids in my community that they can start their own businesses or do whatever it is they’re interested in,” said Tuomey. “We talk about their hopes and dreams, but we also just have a lot of fun together!”

 

Every mentor counts

Academy 4’s mentorship format is simple yet effective. Every month, mentors from the community meet one-on-one with their fourth graders for 90 minutes. Mentors work through research-backed curriculum that teaches mentees a new leadership trait each month – such as listening, encouragement and respect. There are also opportunities for unstructured “hang time” for playing games, making art and chatting.

 

“Participation from local businesses like TWFG Insurance Services makes all the difference. Every mentor counts!”

– Terrence Butler, Vice President of Development at Academy 4

 

It’s foundational to the program that every student in the class has their own mentor. To make this happen, Academy 4 partners with churches, high schools, universities, businesses and community groups to recruit the large number of volunteers needed for the dozens of fourth grade classes in the program.

“We are proud to serve 3,000 students across 40 schools,” said vice president of development Terrence Butler. “Participation from local businesses like TWFG Insurance Services makes all the difference. Every mentor counts!”

 

Growing toward the future

A $10,000 Make More Happen Award from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance would allow Academy 4 to hire more program staff, purchase more curriculum materials and expand into additional elementary schools.

Help TWFG Insurance Services win an additional $5,000 for Academy 4 by clicking the vote button. Get them an extra vote by cheering them on in the comments below by July 31, 2023.

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Teresa
7 months ago

Mentoring a child is the most positive thing we can do in society— mold and shape them at an early age, showing love and helping them to become successful citizens.

Pam Darrow
7 months ago

Academy 4 has been one of my best experiences for the past 11 years! I look forward to meeting my new mentee every fall!

Melanie Williams
7 months ago

This is AMAZING! Thank you Troy. I cant wait for another great year with Academy 4.

Stephanie Spradley
7 months ago

So proud for you! Go Troy

Lisa Starr
7 months ago

Academy 4 is making a HUGE difference in our communities!

Elizabeth Bonnell
7 months ago

Go A4!!!

Grady Gann
7 months ago

Go Academy 4!

Michelle Ingram
7 months ago

This is awesome!!

Jessica Vacketta
7 months ago

Thank you, Troy! This is incredible!

Jennifer Tynes
7 months ago

We absolutely LOVE academy 4! What a huge impact on the kids and mentors!

Krista Rich
7 months ago

Go A4!!!!

E Mendoza
7 months ago

Thank you Mr. Tuomey, Safeco, and Liberty for supporting Academy 4! Such an impactful investment!

Amanda Gilbert
7 months ago

Academy 4 makes a positive impact in the community!

Delonn Bowie
7 months ago

Look forward to Academy 4 days throughout the year!

Kelly S
7 months ago

Academy4 rocks!

Crystal Daffan
7 months ago

Academy 4 ROCKS!!!!

Joy Schwartz
7 months ago

Thank you for this, Troy and TWFG

Judy Roper
7 months ago

Academy 4 is a wonderful, well structured mentorship program. Such a great opportunity to positively impact young students and our communities.

Franchessca Simon
7 months ago

This is amazing!!!

Krista Rich
7 months ago

Thank you soooooo much for your support!

Alyssa Womack
7 months ago

Academy 4 is amazing!

S Reid
7 months ago

Academy 4 changes the lives of adults like me who serve in the program as well as the lives of 4th graders in Title I schools.

David Snapp
7 months ago

Woohoo!!

Leslie
7 months ago

Great mentoring program!

Kelly Snapp
7 months ago

Thank you! TWFG, Safeco and Liberty Mutual.

Danielle Shearer
7 months ago

Awesome work!

Sarah Villarreal
7 months ago

Thank you, TWFG, Safeco and Liberty Mutual!

Kayla Chiara
7 months ago

Go Academy 4! Great work!

aimee long
7 months ago

Wonderful!

Taylor Allan
7 months ago

Great work!

Terrence Butler
7 months ago

Thank you! TWFG, Safeco and Liberty Mutual.

Troy Tuomey
7 months ago

Thanks to Safeco and Liberty for offering this great program!

Sarah Villarreal
7 months ago

Thank you, TWFG Insurance!

Mariah Kulkin
7 months ago

Congrats!

Amanda Shearer
7 months ago

Thank you TWFG Insurance and Troy for all you do to support Academy 4 and your community!

Last edited 7 months ago by Amanda Shearer
Ken Evans
7 months ago

Sounds like a great program! Good work Troy.

Stephanie Greer
7 months ago

Congratulations Troy and Academy 4!!

Rob Neal
7 months ago

Great job, Troy!

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