Published on April 25, 2017
Alvin Griffin has been an Isaiah 43 mentor in All Saints Parish since the program launched at that location in 2014. In 2012, a group of men in the parish formed Men of Vision. The group, for which Mr. Griffin serves as Vice President, seeks to uplift the church and the community as a whole.
The group wanted to form a mentoring program, but weren’t sure where to begin. “Because we were a group of men, we were obviously indecisive about how to do it,” Alvin admits, laughing. “Sr. Salvatrice [Murphy, Family Resources Coordinator] and Kristina [Gibson, Program Director] came along like angels from heaven.”
The pair visited All Saints to speak to the group about Isaiah 43, a parenting and mentoring group with a mission of strengthening and supporting families to bring about a change in the culture of society. They invited Men of Vision members to attend one of their upcoming workshops at St. David Parish. Mr. Griffin attended and knew immediately the program was something All Saints Parish needed.
Mr. Griffin believes Isaiah 43 is an important program, both in All Saints Parish and in general, because there’s a breakdown in family structure that’s affecting the community’s youth. “Sometimes parents just need someone to help them, their children, their family,” he says.
For the past two years, Mr. Griffin has been mentoring an 11-year-old boy who lost his father three years ago. When the pair first met, the boy was depressed and reserved.
Now, he looks forward to spending time with Mr. Griffin and vice versa. “He used to be so quiet. He’s opening up and participating; he’s such a vibrant kid now,” Mr. Griffin says of his mentee. The pair go to the library and the park, attend ball games, share meals together and more.
“Our relationship reminds me a lot of my grandfather. He’s kind of my grandson in a way,” Mr. Griffin shares. His mentee aspires to be a game designer when he grows up. As practice, the pair are working on a woodworking project, which Mr. Griffin has helped his mentee design specs, dimensions and layouts for. Mr. Griffin plans to remain his mentor for as long as he’ll have him.
Mr. Griffin also serves on Isaiah 43’s planning and leadership committee, which plans and organizes activities for the mentors and mentees to do as a group. Past outings have included Jazz Fest and City Park. Currently, they’re planning a trip to the zoo.
He also looks forward to getting more children and families involved with Isaiah 43. “The more kids we can help, the better I feel,” he says. Thank you for your service, Mr. Griffin!