Brett Hammond, Prosecutor at Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office
Tiffany Butler, Campus Recruiter, Supervising Associate- National Tax at Ernest & Young
Where are you from?
Brett: I’m from Washington D.C. I came to Cleveland for work and to be closer with my family.
Tiffany: I’m from a town on the border of Ohio and West Virginia. I attended Mount Union College and my job with Ernest & Young brought me to Cleveland.
How did you learn about Minds Matter Cleveland?
Brett: I learned about Minds Matter via social networking. A friend brought me to a happy hour recruitment event where I got to meet and interact with other Minds Matter volunteers. Prior to my law enforcement career, I was a middle school and high school teacher. Even though I’m no longer involved in the education field, I still want to give back and support students’ learning from a different approach, so I joined Minds Matter.
Tiffany: My husband was a former Executive Team member and I learned about the work that Minds Matter does from him. Out of the things I’m most passionate about, the education of children has always been important to me.
How long have you been a volunteer?
Brett: I have been with Minds Matter for 3 years now.
Tiffany: This is my third year!
What do you like most about Minds Matter Cleveland?
Brett: I definitely like the students and the people. I’m also glad to have an awesome co-mentor, we have really good rapport.
Tiffany: I’m happy to have a means to give back to the community and be able to do something for matters I care most about: education and children.
Who is your mentee?
Brett & Tiffany: We have Sara as our mentee. She goes to Saint Joseph Academy.
What is/are the most rewarding part(s) of your mentoring experience?
Brett: Seeing where our mentee started versus where she is in life now, she has matured a whole lot. She has become very organized, did really well on the ACT. She impressed both of us! I think she might even be better than me when I was her age…
Tiffany: For me, it is seeing Sara grow and develop from a teenager to a young adult, knowing that I have been able to help motivating her along the way and contributing to that growth. Having this acknowledgement also empowers me to help others. It is something I did not expect to experience when I first started three years ago. I’m very proud of Sara and can talk about her all the times!
How has Minds Matter Cleveland impacted your life?
Brett: Minds Matter has helped me become a more understanding person overall. I can work with younger generation much better professionally. And maybe one day, I’ll be a better parent as well thanks to this mentoring experience.
Tiffany: I have to give the credit to the people who pair us up. We are similar in some ways but different enough to work great together and somehow complement one another very well. Minds Matter has taught me how to be more patient, how to figure out different ways to motivate people. I’m also glad to experience the pre-college stage all over again and have a different appreciation for all the guidance from my parents and mentors in life.
What does the future look like for your mentorship with the students and your involvement with Minds Matter Cleveland after graduation?
Brett: We definitely plan on staying in touch to see how Sarah is doing in college, whether or not she needs any kind of support or advice. There are very high chances that she can get in a top school [hopefully] in the state that I grew up in so we might be able to have more visits than just texting.
Tiffany: We’ll continue texting and connect on social media (finally!) I’m already thinking of sending little surprises, like care packages, when she’s away for college.