Dennis Jenkins Named Treatment Home Parent of the Year
New Jersey MENTOR is proud to recognize Dennis Jenkins, a Mentor in our Second Chance program, who was honored by the New Jersey Alliance for Children, Youth and Families as a 2013 Treatment Home Parent of the Year. For more than six years Dennis has been providing guidance and support for adolescent boys in his community as a foster parent, or Mentor, and he will be honored at an awards breakfast on May 23, 2013 at Rutgers University.
Dennis, who had always been a role model for youth in his community, came to New Jersey MENTOR’s Second Chance Program in 2008 because he wanted to help adolescents who needed his guidance the most. In his six years as a Mentor, Dennis has seen eight boys come through his door and helped those youth mature into responsible young men. A strong, yet compassionate role model, Dennis has helped adolescence in his community navigate through the most challenging periods of their development. He provides structure and support, and instills a sense of responsibility that has often been missing from the lives of these boys. “Pop” as he is known to his foster children, can often be heard discussing issues related to trauma and loss, and has a reassuring way of helping the children in his home deal with difficult situations. Never willing to give up on a child no matter the circumstances, Dennis is not only a foster parent, but is an advocate and a life-long support system to the children he has supported in his home.
Before coming to New Jersey MENTOR’s Second Chance program as a Mentor, Dennis supported more than 50 boys during a 16-year period as a resource family provider in New Jersey. During that time, Dennis adopted one of his foster sons in order to give him a permanent family while he endured cancer treatments. Sadly, Dennis’ son passed away, but that never deterred him from continuing to make a difference in other young lives.
“Dennis truly deserves this honor, and has made a difference in the life of every child who has come through his door over the last six years. We are proud to have him as one of our Mentors,” said Joanne Kirk, Regional Director and Dennis’ nominator. “He is humble and kind and will do whatever it takes to support children facing the most trying situations. We are forever grateful for the time he has dedicated to our program and for the lives he has positively impacted, but Dennis believes he gets more than he gives. I want to thank and congratulate Dennis on behalf of everyone at New Jersey MENTOR and across The MENTOR Network.”
The MENTOR Network is proud to call nearly 7,500 individuals throughout the United States Mentors. If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, or know someone who might be, please visit www.makeadifferenceathome.com.
To learn more about the New Jersey Alliance for Children, Youth and Families, visit njacyf.org.