These nine Hawks employees didn’t know what to expect when they walked into Brown for the first time, but they left knowing that they had taken the first step in a productive and fulfilling partnership.

Nine Atlanta Hawks employees began mentoring students this week at Brown Middle School in Atlanta, Georgia. Mentoring, a core practice of CFES, offers students role models and positive examples for future success.

One of the mentors, Blake Johnson, who works in the Community Basketball Programs for the Hawks, was introduced to CFES through Scott Pioli, Assistant General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons and a CFES board member. Blake recounted how she immediately was drawn to CFES, and gathered a group of Hawks employees who were interested in volunteering. After a training session led by Andrea McDonald of CFES, the nine mentors were ready for their first day of mentoring.

These nine Hawks employees didn’t know what to expect when they walked into Brown for the first time, but they left knowing that they had taken the first step in a productive and fulfilling partnership.

“I thought the kids might be a little awkward, solely because we are unfamiliar faces, but they warmed up to us very quickly with the help of their amazing counselor, Ms. Latimore,” said Blake. Nelta Latimore, a school counselor and the CFES liaison at Brown, organized ice breakers for the mentors and the 30 6th and 7th grader mentees.

The mentees and mentors alike had a great experience, one that the Hawks employees plan to replicate during every mentoring session. “The students learn as much from me as I know I will learn from them,” said Blake.

Another mentor, Jenna Schafer who works in Corporate Social Responsibility for the Hawks, understands the true value of mentorship.

“Throughout my life there have been so many influential people who have guided me as mentors and helped me get where I am today. After one short morning with these amazing kids, I am beyond excited to get to know them in the coming weeks.”