MENTOR Nebraska Announces 2020 Mentoring Award Recipients   

MENTOR Nebraska ( presented its annual awards for Business of the Year and Mentor of the Year on April 8. The awards were scheduled to be presented at MENTOR Nebraska’s 10th Annual Mentoring Luncheon on April 1, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The award recipients were instead recognized on MENTOR Nebraska’s social media channels.

MENTOR Nebraska presented the 2020 Business of the Year award to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). The award honors a business that is committed to helping young people achieve their potential through mentoring. More than 50 UNMC employees currently mentor young people through MENTOR Nebraska’s partner mentoring programs. UNMC has supported MENTOR Nebraska and its partner mentoring programs through the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, as well as by hosting mentor recruitment events, recognizing employees who mentor, and sponsoring mentoring programs financially. In addition, UNMC’s College of Public Health played a crucial role in evaluating the societal benefits of mentoring in the Omaha community. A study led by Dr. Fernando Wilson helped show that for every dollar invested in mentoring, a community gets an $8 return on investment.

In addition, MENTOR Nebraska recognized Erica McGruder as the 2020 Mentor of the Year. Erica has been a mentor through Partnership 4 Kids’ group mentoring program for nearly four years. She was matched with four students when they were in the sixth grade and has continued to mentor them through high school. The group enjoys walking in the Old Market, visiting Scary Acres, sharing life advice, and making TikTok videos. Erica is a strong advocate for mentoring.

MENTOR Nebraska’s work is research-based and collaborative with the ultimate vision to bring about systemic changes that will allow mentoring programs to serve more youth with higher quality services. For more information, visit