Mentor Leigh Ann Warner-St. Vincent Catholic Charities
Mentors are so important to the children served at the St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ Children’s Home. It is also a great way for volunteers to connect with a child in need and make a positive impact in their lives. Mentor Leigh Ann Warner is using her time and talent to make a difference in a very special way. Leigh Ann is the wife of Michigan State University’s Football Offensive Coordinator Dave Warner, a full time mom and dedicated mentor to a 10 year old girl at St. Vincent Catholic Charities Children’s Home.
She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri at the age of 23, then started her career as the executive director of a non-profit serving victims of domestic violence and provided counseling services for abused and neglected children. When asked what made her decide to become a mentor, Leigh Ann said, “I was looking for an opportunity to work with young ladies.” When first signing on with STVCC, Leigh Ann was excited to learn she’d be mentoring a 10 year old girl. As the mother of a 10 year old son, she easily relates to the life challenges her young mentee is facing.
Girly Activities Part of Mentor Leigh Ann Warner’s Secret
When asked how she inspires her mentee, Leigh Ann responded by saying that we like to do “girly things” together! It’s the everyday activities that many take for granted that are especially important to a child living in unfortunate circumstances. For example, Leigh Ann has found that getting hot chocolate, going shopping, getting their nails done, knitting, going to the book store, movies, or dinners out are all very special experiences for her young mentee. The pair also enjoy board games and have set a goal to become better checkers players.
Leigh Ann says the most important thing is just spending time together. “I make sure to model positive behavior and feedback whether we go out for an activity or we stay in and talk.” says Leigh Ann. “It’s amazing how quickly the time goes by when we’re together.” Leigh Ann says her life has been enriched and blessed by her experience as a mentor. “I look forward to it every week. I feel this need and desire to help in this community in some way and I’m happy that I was able to find a nice fit for me and hopefully the organization. So I feel really blessed that I was able to find this opportunity! Being with my mentee feels good to the heart.” Leigh Ann says God led her to St. Vincent, and she appreciates being matched with such a wonderful little girl and there is no doubt the feeling is mutual when you look into the eyes of her young mentee.
At St. Vincent Catholic Charities, we are so thankful to Leigh Ann and the many other mentors like her for contributing their precious time and talents to the children that we serve. Thank You!