US Volunteer Graham

Cindy Graham volunteers with Forever Friends.

My name is: Cindy Graham

I volunteer at: Partners in Prevention Mentoring Program

I have volunteered there since: 2007

My duties there include: I first became a volunteer mentor through the Partners in Prevention Mentoring Program when a friend’s family was transferred to Houston. She was mentoring a young seventh-grade girl from Pine Tree ISD through Forever Friends for two years and hated the thought of leaving her. My youngest child had just left for college, and I missed being around young people. When introduced, it was love at first sight. This young girl’s goal was to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and to be a ballet dancer. We met at her lunch time in the Forever Friends group weekly to have fun and discuss teen issues through high school and met monthly outside of school. We painted pottery and made jewelry together, went to movies and eventually went on visits to area colleges. She was invited to dance with the Longview Ballet during her senior year and is now a married young mom who has finished her first two years of college. We still stay in touch monthly. I also volunteered as a Forever Friends group mentoring facilitator in area schools for eight years.

The people who benefit from this are: Young boys and girls in grades kindergarten through 12 as well as the mentors themselves.

I volunteer there because: I grow by spending time and listening to people with different backgrounds and world views. I learn from them as much as they do from me!

I also volunteer at: First United Methodist Church, Buckner, past president of the Longview Museum of Fine Arts board.

My hometown is: I grew up in Amarillo and Rockwall

I live in: Longview

I have lived there since: 25 years

I work at/My profession is: Registered nurse and nonprofit manager

My hobbies include: Travel, kayaking, enjoying live music, reading and cooking

My family members are: I am married to Ken Day, and we have five children and six grandchildren.

I would encourage people to volunteer because: We all need human connection. The next generation is our future. So many young people need to be listened to and encouraged. Every child needs a champion.

Upcoming activities: There will be a new mentor orientation from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 31.

To sign up or receive more information: Contact Partners in Prevention Forever Friends and Co-Pilots Mentoring Program by calling (903) 237-1019 or visit PIP.LongviewTexas.gov/ mentoring .