spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Skip Navigation and Go Directly to Page ContentHOME SeniorCorps SeniorCorps
 
 

forms Forms | Advanced Search
FONT SIZE:  Default  |  Large

spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
About Senior Corps 
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
spacer
 
USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
spacer
spacer
spacer
For Individuals > For Current Members and Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

Senior Corps

 
George  Ferguson
The Grandfathers Group, Alexandria, VA
 

With a mile-wide smile, Michael would describe being with his mentor, “Grandfather” George, as “walking on air.” For the past five years, George Ferguson has been an extra-special part of Michael’s life through a unique mentoring program at The Campagna Center in Alexandria, VA, called The Grandfathers Group.

The Grandfathers Group recruits and trains African American men age 50 and older to serve as volunteer “Grandfather” mentors for African American boys, ages 6 through 12, whose fathers are absent from the home. When Michael was first matched with George, his home life had been turned upside down. A bright and inquisitive second-grader, he was beginning to show some of the effects of growing up without a reliable, positive male presence in his life. Michael’s performance in school was quickly beginning to lag behind his peers, and he voiced his fears about the world around him.

But George could see Michael’s potential – the confident young man he could become with just a little steady attention. Over the years, George has spent countless hours with Michael introducing him to many enriching experiences – from sports and entertainment events, to museum and library afternoons, to discovering the delights of different ethnic cuisines at local restaurants. And with each new adventure, Michael has benefited from the calming influence of George’s thoughtful conversations – quiet words tempered with gentle nudges to work a little harder, uplifting praise for meeting new academic challenges and the best gift of all…the gift of listening to what Michael has to say.

Through his mentor, Michael has been able to view the world through the eyes of a compassionate, successful man of integrity – and, to see the kind of man he can grow up to be. The time spent with his mentor has opened new doors for Michael who, now 12, beams with pride at his most recent report card as he looks up with great affection at George. Throughout Michael’s turbulent home life, George has remained steadfast, being the unwavering, positive presence the boy needs, and reassuring him that he “will always, always be his friend.”

Michael now has a court-appointed special advocate, who sees first-hand the difference George’s time, encouragement and attention has made. “Although living in an environment that is sometimes traumatic and far from what most of us would consider acceptable for our own children and grandchildren,” he says, “this child wakes up every day with the knowledge that George is there for him.” “Grandfather” George is truly what being a mentor is all about.
 

 
gray line
       
  HOME