Mentor of the Year - Lee Ellen Kerr
Lee Ellen Kerr has mentored more than 20 young women and helped them identify a path for their future. Since 2014, she has supported youth in creating five-year strategic plans for their college and career success and provided life skills coaching through the Winning Futures mentoring program. Lee goes above and beyond by setting up job shadowing and internship opportunities, making sure the students are prepared and have the confidence to succeed, as well as ensuring her mentees have transportation to their internships. It is through her encouragement, that Lee has kept many students from dropping out of school and helped them to pursue their dreams. “Lee makes me feel good. She tells me that I can do anything if I just put my mind to it and believe that I can get it accomplished,” said Mercedes Talley, one of her mentees. In addition, Lee has made a lasting impact on the Winning Futures organization, serving in an advisory role to new mentors, providing advice and coaching. Lee also created the GLAD program at Dow Automotive. The program has diversified its outreach so that the group provides training for allies as they support the LGBTQ community at Dow. Through GLAD, she has started informational sessions for parents of LGBTQ youth, training them on how to support their children, initiate the coming-out process and other vital topics.