Mentoring at MaliVai – Nick & Troy

Troy and Nick

The mentoring program at MaliVai Washington provides so many opportunities for our students to  gain insight & knowledge about life experiences from their mentor while building positive relationships. This program gives our students the opportunity to receive one-on-one homework assistance and to have someone dedicated to helping them succeed as an individual.

We take time in matching each mentee with their mentor & we are continually encouraged when we hear of stories about positive life change happening in our students and volunteers!

Below is Nick & Troy’s story about their experience through the mentor program. We hope you are as inspired & encouraged as we were after hearing their story:

(These direct quotes have been taken from a recent essay Troy wrote about his greatest role model and an interview with his mentor, Nick)

“Mr. Nick is my mentor. He has been my mentor for three years. He is where I want to be when I grow up.” – Troy (6th grade)

Nick Smith, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy was matched with one of our students, Troy, through our mentoring program when Troy was in the 4th grade. Three years later, Nick and Troy (now in 6th grade) still meet at the center for about an hour to talk about homework, work, school and life.

“My mentor serves in the Navy and I want to serve in the military. Sometimes when I see him in his uniform I imagine myself dressed the same way he is.” – Troy (6th grade)

Often times, Nick comes to the center after work, still dressed in his uniform. Obvious questions arose about what he does and what his work entails. The discipline, dedication, & commitment taught in the Navy are lessons easily transferable to the importance of having those qualities when it comes to school work. The relationship built between them has become one that inspires Troy on the journey towards his future!

“Recently, Troy has begun considering a future in the U.S. Navy. The possibility that I might walk with him on a journey to serve his country is, without question, my favorite part about mentoring.” – Nick Smith

At the center everyone knows when they see Nick, he’s here to hang with Troy!

“Most of my day is spent being called Lieutenant Smith or Nick. At MWYF I am ‘Troy’s mentor’ and I couldn’t be more happy about it.” -Nick Smith

The commitment Nick has to Troy has trickled outside of the center and has led to building a relationship with Troy’s family! We love how their relationship has developed over the last few years  and hope it continues to grow as Troy moves on to the 7th grade and beyond. We’re thankful for all that Nick has done & continues to do in developing such strong commitment to Troy’s success. We’re also excited to watch Troy learn, grow, and become all he was meant to be!

“I thank him everyday. I thank him for going out of his way to be the best mentor anyone can have!” -Troy (6th grade)

Nick & Troy

$225,000 Raised Through Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Gala for MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation!

Our 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Gala was a huge success!  Through the support of our friends, volunteers and donors, we were able to raise nearly $225,000-the most we’ve ever raised during our Gala!

During the Awards Ceremony, seventeen of our extraordinary students were recognized for their accomplishments on and off the tennis court.  Congratulations to our Student Athlete of the Year, Benzell Lang! In total, over $70,000 in college scholarships were awarded.

The Dinner had a very festive feel as we were celebrating our 15 Year Anniversary. There were balloons, gifts and birthday candles decorating the Champions Ballroom of the Marriott! Cupcakes were even served for dessert! It was truly a magical scene, seeing everyone come together to support Jacksonville’s youth.

As always, the Golf & Tennis Pro-Ams were lots of fun! Watching some of our celebrities who have zero experience playing tennis is hilarious! (Imagine Major League Baseball player Desi Relaford swinging a tennis racquet!).  The Golf Pro-Am wrapped up our two-day event at Marsh Landing Country Club. Golf foursomes enjoyed a celebrity in their group and WATCH-OUT new celebrities-there’s a special surprise in store for you!

Special thanks to all of the celebrities who participated in this year’s annual gala including NBA great Sam Jones;  former Jacksonville Jaguar, Tony Brackens;  actor Chris Bruno;  comedian Kenny Kramer; former major league baseball players Sid Roberson and Desi Relaford; and tennis greats Todd Martin, Brian Gottfried, Jan-Michael Gambill, and Ricardo Acuna, among others.

All money raised during our annual Gala goes directly to our programs and services. Thank you for your support!

To view photos from the Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Gala, please visit our Facebook page or our website’s photo gallery!