Alphonso Mayo has taken life head on and has not looked back. The co-founder of Mentoring Mentors, Mayo has taken his time at Stevenson to help him grow as a person.
What are a few of your most memorable moments as a member of the Stevenson Football team?
The most significant moment was when I received a call from Coach Hottle Congratulating me on my acceptance into the University. I will never forget where I was at and the feeling and emotions that ran through my body. For me, it was a second chance at life. I embraced my acceptance as an opportunity to grow and provide a better lifestyle for my family.
The second would be the camaraderie that we had as a team. I don't think there's anything that can replace the feeling you get when you are inside the locker room, preparing to be tested physically, mentally, psychologically, and emotionally with individuals who you do not know but you consider them your brothers. I
|Mayo presenting at Center for Urban Families.|
genuinely miss it.
Lastly, I will have to say the first year of the program we went through so many changes. The coaching staff was new, the team was new, the environment was new, and I will never forget the logo on the helmet. It was probably one of the worst depictions of a Mustang that I've ever seen in my life. It was quite embarrassing, but I remember feeling thankful and proud. However, I was extremely relieved to know that the logo was being changed moving into our first year of playing an opponent.
How did your time at Stevenson prepare you for your professional life?
Honestly, before attending Stevenson, I've never had a strong sense of what it meant to be apart a tight-knit community. It was an eye-opener. The most important thing I had to learn was time management and how to network appropriately. Being a student-athlete is very demanding and challenging. My experience taught me to be task driven and goal oriented. Most importantly it provided me the opportunity to be connected and learn of ways to serve my community. I learned that mindset is critical and vital to one's success and quality of work.
Tell us about what you are up to.
Shortly after graduating, Rachel Lewis, fellow Stevenson alumni and I came together to discuss ways that we could give back to our community. From that discussion, Mentoring Mentors was born. In 2015, I founded Mentoring Mentors.
Mentoring Mentors, Inc. is a nonprofit mentoring program intended to strengthen young people of color in Baltimore City and surrounding counties. Mentoring Mentors will help youth and young adults learn and identify trauma by challenging their beliefs to help them overcome adversity in all aspects of their lives, whether that is an educational struggle, social and emotional well-being, or behavioral problems.
Junior JT Klopcic volunteering at Mentoring Mentors.
Mentoring Mentors assist underserved communities and schools in which youth and young adults of color live. Students entering our program may start as early as fourth grade (age 10) and continue to receive services until the completion of college (Trajectory Age 22-24). Mentoring Mentors target group will be youth and young adults that are in the low 10 % of their class and are struggling socially, emotionally, and battling past and present trauma.
Our ultimate goal is to give students an opportunity to develop their leadership qualities through peer to peer mentoring. All in all, give students a chance to reimagine themselves.
We connect our students with mentors with share life experiences. We believe that the best motivator is to be connected with those who have overcome similar adversities and made a positive change and now are creating positive change.
What has been a memorable event in your life since you have graduated?
Since graduating, I got married to the love of my life, Amanda Mayo. She played the intricate part of me being able to accomplish many of the goals that I set out to achieve while I was at Stevenson. To see our relationship grow and develop has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Also, I wrote a book entitled, "The Promise." It is not published yet, but I had an opportunity to work with my English Professor, Brian Nelson, who helped me write the book about my life, the trauma that I experience growing up in Baltimore and the promise that I made to my grandparents to be the first person to graduate from college. It was a fantastic experience. Going back to my past pains was tough. However, I understand that many children that live in urban communities experience what I have experienced and have lost hope. We're hoping to publish the book nationally soon.
What did you learn in your time at Stevenson that has stayed with you in your post-collegiate life?
I learned that community starts with you. I love that we all play an intricate part in this universe and that we all have a purpose. My time at Stevenson wasn't easy. I learned that it doesn't really matter where you start if you have the right attitude and work ethics, you have the power to envision yourself being successful and that it's possible. I was able to meet some amazing people many of whom I'm still connected with today.
Do you still keep in touch with your teammates?
I do still keep in contact with my teammates via social media. It's extremely challenging to keep in contact with all of the people I played sports with. However, I was able to build some lifelong bonds with some of my teammates who are my brothers for life. Emmanuel Paul is my brother for life. Sadly he passed away
|Senior Dequan Ellison volunteering at Mentoring Mentors.|
several years ago due to medical complications. I talk to him through prayer. Jon Marcus and Nigel Stanford are my best friends. We talk almost three times a week if not more sometimes. These guys are amazing men and we're figuring out this thing called life together.
What is some advice you would give to the Stevenson Football players?
Stay focused. It's so easy to get distracted by all of the hype yet, be grounded and humble in all that you do. Understand that you are a student first. I would also say that you have the right and freedom to make any choice you choose, but you're not free from the consequences of the choices that you make so make wise choices. Understand that you're blessed with this opportunity to be at one of the best University's in the nation. Get a prayer partner and seek guidance form those teammates who are grounded and focus. Lastly, be respectful to those in your community and not only prosper on the football field but be a leader in the classroom.