Empowering at-risk teens through one-on-one mentoring to make positive life choices.
Mountain Mentors, a non-profit 501 (c ) 3 agency, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. We seek to follow Christ’s example of personal involvement with individuals who are hurting or in need. Specifically, we are committed to impacting the lives of challenged or at-risk youth in our community through one-on–one mentoring. Mountain Mentors believes that teens have physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Therefore, we strive to address these through role modeling, friendship, skills, and learning
Mountain Mentors is the brainchild of the Reverend Everett C. Mills. Reverend Mills initiated the program in 1984 as a non-profit 501(C) organization dedicated to assisting at-risk youth in the greater Toledo community. Prior to 1984, Reverend Mills ran a program, “Basement Saints”, out of his United Methodist Church in Hoytville, Ohio. This original program was viewed as an alternative social scheme for the local youth who were otherwise left without safe, friendly gathering place. He began taking members of this youth group to the White Mountains in his home state of New Hampshire. It was during these trips that he envisioned the one-on-one mentoring that Mountain Mentors incorporates today.
Mountain Mentors was founded in affiliation with the United Methodist Church through the former Euclid U.M. Church. In its first decade, the Lucas County Juvenile Court assigned about 125 students ages 12 to 18 to Mountain Mentors. Andy Devine, then a Lucas County Juvenile judge, credited Rev. Mills’ dedication and persistence for this beginning. In 1987 the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recognized the program as one of the most innovative alternative-to-incarceration programs in the country.
In the 1990’s Mountain Mentors purchased a small N.H. property that has been developed as Camp Mills. This camp has been developed as the base of operations for the year’s end hiking/camping trip. The interfaith program has evolved to serving mentoring referrals for a diverse range of teenagers from schools, juvenile probation, and other agencies. Programming has been increased with monthly educational sessions for skill-training and healthy adolescent development. For over 30 years, the program has remained primarily volunteer based. Mountain Mentors partners with Northwest Ohio Community Shares, individual donors, and community corporations for the necessary funding.