Local Mentor Program Honors BYU Students

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    By Melissa Sirrine

    Two BYU students were named “Mentor of the Year” by a local youth mentoring program at a banquet at UVSC Tuesday night, Jan. 23, 2007.

    Safety Net Mentor Program honored Cade Close and Laura Cantera for their outstanding commitment and dedication to the program.

    The Safety Net Mentor Program was designed to provide mentors for children ages 5 to 18 who would benefit from positive role models. Though most mentors are students at either BYU or UVSC, the program welcomes mentors of all ages – married, single, young and old.

    Close, a junior majoring in accounting, has been a mentor with the program since June 2005.

    “I”m just grateful for this program,” Close said.

    After heading up to the podium in UVSC”s Sorensen Student Center, Close shared one of his favorite memories of mentoring 14-year-old Tyler. Close said he was grateful for the opportunity to have Tyler enlighten his life.

    Cantera, a BYU graduate and third-year law student at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, has mentored 13-year-old Rachel for three and a half years.

    “We do everything together,” Cantera said.

    Mentoring is great, she said, because it gives mentors the chance to be influential in a child”s life, and provide a person for him or her to talk to.

    “Hopefully I”ve been someone consistent that [Rachel] feels like she can trust,” Cantera said.

    Cantera said she didn”t expect to receive any kind of award at the annual Safety Net banquet. In fact, when her name was announced, she hesitated to approach the podium, assuming they must have meant some other Laura.

    “I”m completely flattered and feel undeserving, but it”s really nice,” she said.

    Sally Giles, guest speaker at the event, summed up the passion that many mentors have for what they do.

    Giles said God doesn”t care what people do with with lives as far as the career they pursue, but he does care how they live their lives.

    The program”s founder and director, Karla Sedillo, said she was excited to honor those who had spent so much time impacting the lives of others. January, national mentoring month, was an especially significant time to honor Close and Cantera, she said.

    “Even though it”s dark and gray outside, it”s sunny in the mentor program,” Sedillo said.

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