Changing the world one child at a time
Mosaic Mentoring of North Alabama aims to break cycles
Mosaic of North Alabama has been working to change the lives of area children and teens for generations. Under the mentorship of individuals, families and students, approximately 200 children and teens are currently being served.
Leah Brown, executive director of Mosaic of North Alabama, said the program serves children by partnering them with an adult with similar interests. She said the child and mentor undergo personality profiles to be matched and spend quality time with each other.
Beyond just the scope of the office, the mentor spends quality time with his or her mentee doing fun activities, such as going to a movie, bowling, enjoying a game night and more. Brown said the organization emphasizes the importance of spending time over money.
“The kids have the opportunity to do things they might not have otherwise. Kids remember the time, not the money spent,” Brown said.
Brown said she wants children in the program to be able to experience what normal families look like. While some of the participants come from “normal” families, others are being raised by grandparents or great-grandparents or come from complicated backgrounds. Brown said she wants children to be exposed to regular activities with their mentors.
“Children really are the future – not just the future doctors, lawyers and production workers but the future bank robbers too,” Brown said. “We want to be able to break those cycles and expose them to different experiences.”
In addition to the mentorship pairings, Mosaic takes part in Christmas and Easter programs for all of their participants. Children can enjoy breakfast with Santa and are taken on a shopping trip to Target. For Easter they receive gift baskets and take part in an Easter egg hunt. They can also attend a back-to-school party and receive school supplies to last them throughout the year.
Brown said the parties and activities are made possible through donations from the community and through the dedicated volunteers who serve the children.
“We constantly need volunteers. We especially have a need for men to mentor,” Brown said.
These programs, Brown said, are instrumental in supporting the participants and changing the outlook of their lives. She has been involved with the program as the executive director for 18 years and served on the board of directors two years before that. She said one of the most awarding aspects of the organization is seeing participants grow up and come back to serve the next generation.
“My favorite thing is when the kids have mentors when they are little, and they grow up, and they come in to thank us, and they want to turn around and be a mentor themselves,” Brown said. “Those days make it all worth it. I know I can’t help every child, but if we can help one, then it is all worth it.”
Those interested in volunteering, donating or getting involved with the organization can call 256-353-0157. To learn more about Mosaic of North Alabama, visit www.mosaicnorthal.org.