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Community Members Recognized for Commitment to Mentoring at 2017 Inspire Awards

February 27, 2017 |

 The 2017 Inspire Awards celebrated outstanding mentors in the community on February 23 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. Seven inspiring community leaders were named Mentors of the Year for mentoring excellence in the workplace and community by College Mentors for Kids. The 2017 Inspire Awards’ Mentors of the Year include:

Accounting, Legal & Finance

Jason Reese, Wagner Reese

Business, Retail & Services

Don Kinsey, Caterpillar

Construction, Engineering & Technology

Jim Wiesler, Eli Lilly & Company

Education, Government & Nonprofit

Jonathan Baker, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Health & Health Sciences

Sara Barnett, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health

Marketing, Media & Athletics

Sonya Hopkins, Butler University

Youth Mentoring

Brian Hairston, Virginia Cooperative Extension


Allison Melangton, Senior Vice President, Hulman Motorsports Corporation, was also honored at the event with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring for giving her time and talents to mentor youth and business leaders alike so that their futures and the future of our community can be brighter

Shelley Hunter, Executive Director of College Mentors for Kids, explained, “Allison Melangton is an exceptional leader and mentor in our community. The impact she has made on young professionals and other business leaders is remarkable. She is an incredible asset to Indianapolis, as a mentor, as a business professional and as a leader of events that bring significant economic impact to the community.”

Josh Brown, College Mentors for Kids’ Board Chair, said, “The Inspire Awards were launched 8 years ago to honor mentors in our community because we know that mentoring transforms lives. We see it in the lives of the mentors we celebrate at Inspire, and we also see it in the lives of the kids and college students we serve through the College Mentors for Kids mentoring program.”

In addition to the awards, College Mentors for Kids at University of Indianapolis little buddy (program participant), Zeke, a sixth grader from IPS Paul I Miller 114, was awarded a $250 scholarship towards a College Choice 529 account for higher education. In describing his experience with the College Mentors program Zeke shared, “College Mentors has taught me about many parts of life and has helped me set goals for the future. My mentor (Alyssha) has taught me what to expect in college life.”

The Inspire Awards benefits College Mentors for Kids. All proceeds are directed toward the mentoring program which operates on 35 college and university campuses in Indiana, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

College Mentors for Kids is grateful to our many sponsors: The Ackerman Foundation; Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Creative Video & Multimedia, LLC; Element Three; F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company; Fifth Third Bank; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Indianapolis Business Journal; Indianapolis Power & Light Company; Lumina Foundation; Mark and Karen Hill; TownePost Network; Sherck, Hussey, Johnson, McNaughton, LLC; and USA Funds.