Men in Community: Lions, tigers, connection…oh, my!

Chattanooga Mentoring Collective hosts annual mentor celebration

On June 18, the Chattanooga Mentoring Collective hosted the annual MentorChatt celebration at the Chattanooga Zoo to kick-off summer and allow the mentors and mentees an opportunity to hang out with each other.

There was more to celebrate than the beginning of summer, though. Many male mentors have a reignited purpose for mentoring after the 100 Men 100 Days initiative.

More than 80 mentors and mentees from multiple organizations started the evening by writing what they love about their mentor or mentee and then adding their notes to a group display.

Mentoring isn’t just a nice idea. According to, young adults who have a mentor are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college. They are also 46 percent less likely to start using illegal drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking.

“I wanted to have an impact on TD’s life, but I had no idea the impact he would have on mine,” said Tory Johnston, a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We always enjoy our time together, so being at the zoo was just another reminder for me of how important and fulfilling it is to connect with my mentee.”

While male mentors are an immediate need, the Chattanooga Mentoring Collective partners with 15+ agencies that are each in need of mentors from all backgrounds and walks of life.

If you would like to be a mentor or if you want a mentor, please go to

Read more from the Men in Community series here:

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