Community Members Recognized for Commitment to Mentoring at the 2019 Inspire Awards, presented by Verizon

Community Members Recognized for Commitment to Mentoring at the 2019 Inspire Awards, presented by Verizon

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2019 Inspire Awards, presented by Verizon, celebrated outstanding mentors in our community on February 21 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. Seven inspiring community leaders were named Mentors of the Year for mentoring excellence in the workplace and community by College Mentors for Kids. The 2019 Inspire Awards’ Mentors of the Year include:

Accounting, Legal & Finance
Erik Long, Ice Miller LLP
Business, Retail & Hospitality
Kyle DeFur, trueU
Communication, Entertainment & Athletics
Lee Jackson, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School
Construction, Engineering & Technology
Becky Hammons, Ontario Systems & Ball State University
Education, Government & Nonprofit
Dennis Goins, Ben Davis High School
Health & Science
Amy Carter, Eskenazi Health
Youth Mentoring
Kizito Kalima, Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Brian Dixon, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health; Director of Public Health Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute; Health Research Scientist at the Department of Veterans Affairs; and founding chapter president of the DePauw University chapter of College Mentors for Kids, was also honored at the event with the Inspiring Alumni Award, sponsored by Hylant, for exemplifying and furthering College Mentors for Kids’ mission and values since graduating from the program.

College Mentors for Kids’ founder Heidi Schmidt presented the award to Dixon sharing, “The lessons Brian learned during his time as a student leader – both about the incredible potential of children and the importance of community service – stayed with him.” As his nominee wrote, “He is always giving of his time for anyone who needs help. He uses his own accomplishments to help bolster his students.”

“Mentorship,” Dixon shares, “is important because it allows me to develop individuals who are the future leaders in my field, in my organizations, and in the community. I have benefitted from mentorship, and it is important that I help mentor the next generation.”

The 2019 Inspire Awards, presented by Verizon, marked ten years of celebrating mentoring in the workplace and community and benefits College Mentors for Kids. All proceeds are directed toward the mentoring program which operates on 34 college and university campuses in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. For more information on all of the Mentors of the Year, visit our website:

College Mentors for Kids is grateful to our many sponsors: Verizon; The Ackerman Foundation; Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Element Three; Creative Video & Multimedia, LLC; F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company; Fifth Third Bank; Hylant; Lumina Foundation; Indianapolis Business Journal; Indianapolis Power & Light Company; TownePost Network; VanRiper-Woodard Family Foundation; and Sherck, Hussey, Johnson & McNaughton, LLC.


About the Inspire Awards:
The Inspire Awards are an annual event designed to celebrate mentoring in the workplace and community. Nominations from around the country are accepted, and selection committees choose the Mentors of the Year from each category who are honored at the luncheon along with an Inspiring Alumni. In 2019, the event was attended by over 450 community members. All proceeds benefit College Mentors for Kids.

About College Mentors for Kids, Inc.:
College Mentors for Kids is an innovative nonprofit with a mission to connect kids to college students through weekly on-campus activities that inspire growth, confidence, and brighter futures. The organization operates 34 campus-based chapters across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. For more information, please visit