LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Over the past year, FOX16 has covered countless stories showing the power of mentoring. It’s part of our Victory Over Violence Campaign. As this year comes to an end, we want to take a look back at some of our top mentoring stories.

We started out the year catching up with then 11-year-old Tyleanah Thomas, a bright kid who we first featured in 20-17 when she was looking for a mentor. She was eventually paired up with Diane Sorg. The two have been paired up for nearly three years and the pre-teen is now thriving.

“She’s helped me by just letting me know that it’s going to be okay, you just have to be the light and show the best and be the best that you can be and that really helped me,” Tyleanah told us in January.

Also this year, 162 volunteers were ready to answer the call to become mentors. They called into our Mentor Match Day telethon and were officially paired up with organizations, like the OK Program, LRSD’s Volunteers in Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas.

The Calvery Baptist Church in Little Rock also started up a mentoring ministry in 2019. FOX16 was there as some of the mentors met their mentees.

In 2019, FOX16 showed how mentors come in all shapes, forms and fashions. Franchesca Taylor, 26, met her mentor Mary Waldo while living at an Arkansas Community Correction’s re-entry facility. Mary helped Franchesca become a productive member of society. FOX16 even followed up with her months later when she moved out of the re-entry facility and into her own apartment.

“I never thought I’d become this person that I am today,” Franchesca said in July.

College students also jumped on the opportunity to mentor. UA Little Rock students in the juvenile justice program paired up with youth offenders in hopes of reducing recidivism rates.

“It feels like a great responsibility at the same time it’s a great opportunity,” Amy King told us at the time.

A long-time mentorship between a seasoned photographer and an aspiring photographer birthed award-winning photographs from Cameron Holt.

The Empire Cheerleaders in Benton also learned you’re never too young to become a mentor. Teams with older members became mentors to teams with younger members.

FOX16 thanks all of you for taking the call to become a mentor and helping us declare Victory Over Violence. We look forward to sharing more great mentoring stories in 2020.