Mentorship Program Brings Consistency of Care to Kids in the Ozanam Campus Residential Treatment Program

Mentor Profile: Alan Emmons

By day, Alan Emmons is the Customer Experience Supervisor at Compass Minerals, a road salt producer based in Overland Park, Kansas. By night, he’s the co-director of the Missouri and Kansas Invitational Tournament (MAKIT), a bowling tournament and proud charity partner of Cornerstones of Care.

The tournament has been giving to Cornerstones of Care since 2019, and their most recent fundraising event in April raised $3,000 for the organization. They have also hosted a few private bowling events for youth in the Ozanam Campus Residential Treatment Program.

While Alan may have a special gift for bowling, he openly admits that he has nothing on his 13-year-old mentee, *Miles, when it comes to basketball.

“He is an awesome basketball player; he kicks my butt every time we play,” said Alan.

Since August 2023, Alan has been visiting Miles weekly through the Cornerstones of Care mentorship program. Their time together often revolves around their shared love of sports; a favorite outing for Miles was the College Basketball Experience in downtown Kansas City. Alan and Miles also share a love of ice cream and often go off-campus to buy the sweet treat.

One rewarding experience for Alan came during Christmas when he visited his mentee and brought him gifts, including his favorite basketball video game, joggers, a hoodie, and a personalized water bottle.

“He said to me, ‘You’re the best mentor! You’re reliable, and you always show up,’” said Alan.

Being someone his mentee can rely on was one of Alan’s biggest hopes going into the program. At first, Miles was slow to open up, but once he and Alan established a relationship, he was more willing to share. Alan has been intentional about giving his mentee time to develop a sense of trust, especially given what he’s experienced in life.

“His parent’s rights were terminated, and then he had foster parents, and their rights were terminated,” said Alan. “Being that young, it has to be so difficult, and if I can do anything to make a difference for someone ­– that’s really what drives me and makes me passionate about helping and working with kids.”

Recently, Miles asked if he and Alan can stay connected even after he leaves the residential facility and finds a home. Alan’s response was quick and full of genuine hope and fondness for his mentee.

“Of course we can,” he said.

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*name changed to protect privacy