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White Plains Celebrates National Mentoring Month

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains Fire Lt. Steven Glover has acquired a second title, “the grandfather of mentoring,” during his 15 years guiding three kids with the youth bureau’s mentoring program. However, at the White Plains National Mentoring Month celebration Tuesday, Glover suggested his mentees deserve as much recognition as the adult volunteers.

“He taught me a lot,” Glover, a White Plains resident, said of Korbin Cleveland, 21, who he has mentored for 14 years. “I have two daughters. He’s the son I never had.”

The pair joined dozens of other mentoring matches in city hall Monday, where Mayor Thomas Roach and Frank Williams, executive director of the Youth Bureau , thanked the mentors for their service and urged mentees to return to the program later in life.

“I can think of nothing more important than to set a young person on the right path,” Roach said. “I thank all of you for your time because it’s not easy. We live in a busy world where everybody says they have no time.”

Williams noted that the program has grown since the city’s council of community ervices planted the mentoring program into the youth bureau in 1998. Matilda Cuomo later used the local set-up as a model for a statewide initiative. Now, the youth bureau’s mentoring program boasts 80 participants.

A couple pairs, including Glover and Cleveland, shared their success stories with the crowd. The two met when Cleveland was 7, and Glover talked art and homework with the young artist.

“His mom said, ‘Can you talk to him about schoolwork?’ Glover said. “At the end of the day I can tell you I got to him.” He added, “I’m proud of this man all the way.”

Cleveland, who graduated high school and is working as a dog trainer, said he plans to keep in touch with Glover despite recently moving to Queens.

“I’d be a different person now if it wasn’t for Steven. So I thank him,” Cleveland said. “We’ve been together so long. I actually don’t look at him like a mentor. I look at him like my family.”

Cleveland and other mentees such as Samone Stanley said their experience has given them the ambition to one day be a mentor for their communities’ youth.

“I was really quiet so it took like a long time for me to break out,” Stanely, a freshman at Westchester Community College, said of her mentor Kristin Price. “Now I’m in college and I have two jobs. I’m doing good.”

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