posted January 14, 2010

Derek Bradley Honored as Volunteer Mentor

 Derek Bradley, a Hope College junior from Roscommon, has been chosen to receive this month's "Senator's Award for Men in Mentoring" by State Senator Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland).

Bradley is a volunteer coach with the "Total Trek Quest" program coordinated by Pathways, MI.  He will receive the award during a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 15, at 4:30 p.m. at the Pathways, MI office in Holland.

The award consists of a framed certificate signed by Kuipers and Governor Jennifer Granholm, and a $50 gift card to the BoatWerks Restaurant courtesy of Paul Kuiper.  In addition, the award's recipients are listed on a plaque created by Superior Sports in Holland and on display in the restaurant's lobby.

Total Trek Quest is a 10-week highly interactive program designed exclusively for boys in third, fourth and fifth grades that provides opportunities to explore and develop their individuality and strengths, through running and other activities to promote goal-setting and social development.  The program takes place at several schools in OttawaCounty.

Bradley has been a volunteer coach with the program for the past two years, serving at Holland East and at Waukazoo Elementary/Lakewood Elementary (a combined West Ottawa team).  He is the only volunteer coach currently mentoring two teams.

Bradley is a 2007 graduate of Roscommon High School and the son of Richard and Theresa Bradley of Roscommon.  He is an exercise science major and a member of the college's cheerleading squad.

Kuipers represents the 30th District, which includes all of Ottawa County as well as the City of Grandville and Sparta Township in Kent County.  The Senator's Award for Men in Mentoring is intended to highlight the importance of mentoring by males in particular, since nationwide two thirds of all youth in need of mentors are male but only one third of mentors are male.  Kuipers presents it monthly to the programs, including "Heights of Hope," that are partnered with the Ottawa County Mentoring Collaborative, including Pathways, MI, with each program able to identify one recipient per year.

Pathways, MI was formed in 2006 through the merger of Child and Family Services of Western Michigan and Children's Resource Network Inc.  The organization's mission is to provide life-transforming services to children, families and communities, through a wide array of services that include counseling, early-childhood programs, the Great Start Western Regional Resource Center, parent and family support and education, foster care, adoption, and participation in community efforts to improve life for children and families.