Mentor of The Month

Mentor of The Month

I've been privileged enough to have traveled around studying and working for nearly half my life. Now at 32, as an educator and artist, I find it irrefutable that I return to my roots at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. It was here in 1991 where I was introduced to an organization called, The Untouchables. While the organization is staying strong in 2014, I would like to remark on the need for service in hopes of reaching out to many of my peers to embrace the obligation of mentoring.


Michael E. Smith at the Charles Houston Recreation Center.

The growth of the child depends on that of the community; the parent, the teacher, the preacher, the neighbor. This is one thing that working with The Untouchables, as a member and as a mentor, has taught me. As someone who grew up in a single-parent home, The Untouchables offered me more than just time with my own peers but also relationships with many professional men that I would have otherwise never met. These were men that had careers and families and had grown up in the same community in which we were growing.

It was encouraging to see the young and older men pack ourselves in that one room at Charles Houston; all for a common purpose and goal. The greatest act anyone has performed for anyone else has been to clear the path for them. This is what makes mentoring so important. Even for us men who have not reached the level of success that we envision, we still have many lessons to offer our young men.

We all have gifts and wonders but we distress everything when we don’t humble ourselves and serve. Children are the future, because they are us and they are those who used to be. The impression we leave makes us all worth the while.

The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership (AMP) was created in 2006 to ensure that quality mentors and mentor programs are available for Alexandria's youth and young adults in need. There are 11 professionally managed programs in the partnership that need adult mentors. To learn more about AMP, visit: