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Meet The Mentors

These are just a few of the many mentors and tutors who serve at STEP every year!

Anthony Valley | STEP Mentor since 2014

Over the past eight years, Anthony has connected deeply with his mentee and his mentee’s family as they have navigated life’s ups and downs together.

“STEP combines discipleship, mentoring, and outreach to my local community. I wish others knew how STEP removes many of the barriers to discipleship through a solid, battle-tested program. A mentor does not need to be a biblical scholar, well-spoken orator, or seasoned life coach. The biggest contribution a mentor gives is their TIME. An average of 6 hours a month. That’s it. I have greatly  enjoyed watching God mold my mentee into a more well-rounded person with a much better future.”

Melissa Smith | STEP mentor since 2019

Melissa loves mentoring because of how rewarding it is to serve and love one another.

“God calls us to make disciples. I began mentoring at STEP because God led me there.  What I most enjoy about serving at STEP is the relationship I have with my mentee. I wish others knew how rewarding it is to serve and love one another through STEP!”

Heath Land | STEP Mentor since 2017

Heath believes mentoring is an important part of following Christ’s example to make disciples. 

“I chose to begin mentoring at STEP because I knew I needed to follow the example of Christ in making disciples. I knew that STEP was an amazing and faithful place to serve God. My mentee and I have had so much fun becoming brothers in Christ, and we lean on each other more and more every day. There have been many amazing moments throughout my time at STEP. Most recently, I enjoyed how well my mentee and I worked as a team as we floated the Buffalo River together on our Jabali retreat! STEP is a unique ministry that can change your life forever.”

Jeff Rooker | STEP Mentor since 2008

Jeff has a vision for instilling Christ into the next generation, and mentoring through STEP is the perfect way to do it through one-on-one discipleship. 

“I began mentoring with STEP after serving in the short-term summer program for a couple of years and realizing I should do this during the school year. I continue mentoring because I want to build Christ into the next generation. I have most enjoyed the consistency of the program, working with STEP staff and other mentors, and seeing kids grow amid their struggles. I wish others knew that serving as a mentor at STEP is easy – just pray up, show up and see God work in you and your mentee.”

Elise Fullwood | STEP Mentor since 2021

Ever since her first job as a babysitter, Elise has loved children. So STEP mentoring has been a natural fit for her.

“I chose to be a mentor because I heard about it at my church and I love children. While that is still a motivation, I now desire to watch myself and the kids grow in knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have enjoyed every part of STEP – my mentee, the Bible studies and Faithfulness Outings. STEP is truly an organization that Serves to Equip People. My time here has helped me understand Bible stories better, increased my patience, and learn to love better.”

Marcus Vasquez | STEP Mentor since 2021

Marcus loves having the chance to make a positive impact on a young person’s life.

“I mentor at STEP because I realize the importance of the work being done – I get to take part in helping someone learn life skills and about the Lord. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my mentee. Every night is different. It’s nice to see how our relationship has grown in what feels like a short time. As a mentor, you get the chance to make a positive impact on a young person’s life. Mentoring is not a hard thing to do. And you don’t have to be perfect to do it.”

Cliff McBryde | STEP Mentor since 2007

Cliff has especially enjoyed the program’s Bible study time since he can witness kids begin to truly understand who God is.

“I began mentoring at STEP as a part of my church’s commitment to partnership with STEP. After participating in the summer mentoring program and mentoring training. I learned that we had a fatherless group of youth here in the city that needed to be loved. My desire is to see these young people know who their heavenly Father is and learn to trust and depend on Him. I believe I am blessed by this more than the kids. It is exciting to see the ‘light come on’ as these kids begin to see who Jesus is and how much they are loved. We only have to be there and participate, love kids and plant seeds. It is God who will take care of the harvest.”

Anthony Valley Mentor since 2014

Over the past eight years, Anthony has connected deeply with his mentee and his mentee’s family as they have navigated life’s ups and downs together.

“STEP combines discipleship, mentoring, and outreach to my local community. I wish others knew how STEP removes many of the barriers to discipleship through a solid, battle-tested program. A mentor does not need to be a biblical scholar, well-spoken orator, or seasoned life coach. The biggest contribution a mentor gives is their TIME. An average of 6 hours a month. That’s it. I have greatly  enjoyed watching God mold my mentee into a more well-rounded person with a much better future.”

Read Anthony’s story here.

Melissa Smith Mentor since 2019

Melissa loves mentoring because of how rewarding it is to serve and love one another.

“God calls us to make disciples. I began mentoring at STEP because God led me there.  What I most enjoy about serving at STEP is the relationship I have with my mentee. I wish others knew how rewarding it is to serve and love one another through STEP!”

Read Melissa’s story here.

Heath Land | Mentor Since 2017

Heath believes mentoring is an important part of following Christ’s example to make disciples. 

“I chose to begin mentoring at STEP because I knew I needed to follow the example of Christ in making disciples. I knew that STEP was an amazing and faithful place to serve God. My mentee and I have had so much fun becoming brothers in Christ, and we lean on each other more and more every day. There have been many amazing moments throughout my time at STEP. Most recently, I enjoyed how well my mentee and I worked as a team as we floated the Buffalo River together on our Jabali retreat! STEP is a unique ministry that can change your life forever.”

Read Heath’s story here.

Jeff Rooker | Mentor Since 2008

Jeff has a vision for instilling Christ into the next generation, and mentoring through STEP is the perfect way to do it through one-on-one discipleship. 

“I began mentoring with STEP after serving in the short-term summer program for a couple of years and realizing I should do this during the school year. I continue mentoring because I want to build Christ into the next generation. I have most enjoyed the consistency of the program, working with STEP staff and other mentors, and seeing kids grow amid their struggles. I wish others knew that serving as a mentor at STEP is easy – just pray up, show up and see God work in you and your mentee.”

Elise Fullwood Mentor Since 2021

Ever since her first job as a babysitter, Elise has loved children. So STEP mentoring has been a natural fit for her.

“I chose to be a mentor because I heard about it at my church and I love children. While that is still a motivation, I now desire to watch myself and the kids grow in knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have enjoyed every part of STEP – my mentee, the Bible studies and Faithfulness Outings. STEP is truly an organization that Serves to Equip People. My time here has helped me understand Bible stories better, increased my patience, and learn to love better.”

Read Elise’s story here.

Marcus Vasquez Mentor since 2021

Marcus loves having the chance to make a positive impact on a young person’s life.

“I mentor at STEP because I realize the importance of the work being done – I get to take part in helping someone learn life skills and about the Lord. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my mentee. Every night is different. It’s nice to see how our relationship has grown in what feels like a short time. As a mentor, you get the chance to make a positive impact on a young person’s life. Mentoring is not a hard thing to do. And you don’t have to be perfect to do it.”

Read Marcus’s story here.

Cliff McBryde Mentor since 2007

Cliff has especially enjoyed the program’s Bible study time since he can witness kids begin to truly understand who God is.

“I began mentoring at STEP as a part of my church’s commitment to partnership with STEP. After participating in the summer mentoring program and mentoring training. I learned that we had a fatherless group of youth here in the city that needed to be loved. My desire is to see these young people know who their heavenly Father is and learn to trust and depend on Him. I believe I am blessed by this more than the kids. It is exciting to see the ‘light come on’ as these kids begin to see who Jesus is and how much they are loved. We only have to be there and participate, love kids and plant seeds. It is God who will take care of the harvest.”

Read Cliff’s story here.