For the last three plus years, I enjoyed serving the serving the children of TRUE Mentors alongside some great people. It was a distinct honor and privilege to lead such a dedicated group of individuals. Several of you helped shape my life, through encouragement, coaching and sharing in tough decisions. I have made several friends, who will remain in my life for years to come. I am excited to launch Katie as the new Executive Director and I know many of you will embrace her in the same way you embraced me.
Organizationally, TRUE Mentors has grown in so many ways. Our funding increased over 140 percent and we have been able to use over $125,000 towards impacting the children in our community. We hired our first paid Program Director and now our first paid Executive Director. Matches increased 282 percent. Clubs served nearly twice as many unique children compared to 2013. The Teen Internship program launched and has helped 21 children complete an internship.
Beyond the numbers, I am most thankful for the things I witnessed. I have seen mentors encourage their mentees to reach new heights. I have watched club volunteers calm children down with so much compassion in the midst of controlled chaos. I celebrated with the Teen Intern team and listened to parents who were so incredibly thankful for their work. Several of you routinely sacrificed sleep to meet at 6:15 am and talk about new ways to improve our organization. Even more of you volunteered countless hours to ensure we could offer the best programs to the families we serve. In the hardest moments and toughest decisions, I replay these memories time and again to find encouragement and energy.
I am incredibly thankful for everything I have learned and experienced. My life will forever be changed by the people I’ve met and skills I’ve acquired. I am very excited to see TRUE Mentors continue to grow in the future under the supervision of Katie Eades as Executive Director and Rebecca Denaro as Program Director.
I feel compelled to share the stories above because I dream of a day when every child is impacted, when all of you have your own story to share. Everything is the last three years was possible because people came along on the mission. I urge you to consider your spot in our mission and how you can support the programs, the people or the process. It does not have to be a three year commitment as a three month commitment can impact lives as well. Don’t miss the opportunities all around you.
James Sproule has lived in Hoboken since 2009. He has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and tutoring organizations. James joined TRUE Mentors in 2011 and has served in multiple roles including Mentor, Fundraising, Class Director and Volunteer Coordinator. In spring 2013, James stepped in as Executive Director to lead TRUE Mentors through its next phase of growth. Outside of TRUE Mentors, James works in sales for S&P Capital IQ. James currently holds the position of Treasurer on the TRUE Mentors Board of Directors. We thank James for his 3 years of service as Executive Director and for his continued involvement in his current role as a board member.