Mentor on a Mission
“I think the most important thing in life is integrity. You build your own character,” says Alphonso Mayo ’14, a recent human services graduate with a passion for giving back to both his community and his alma mater.
“We wait for someone else to take the next step,” he adds. “I didn’t want to wait for someone else because what if that person never steps? What if 1,000 people never step? I want to motivate others to take that step. I want to motivate others to support one another.”
Growing up in Baltimore City, Mayo found himself seeking out male role models, such as his high school football coach. This led him to realize his life’s goal: helping others and creating opportunities for success.
Although he left Baltimore after his 2006 graduation from high school to play football at North Carolina Central University, he learned soon afterward that he was going to be a father. He returned home and found it challenging to find steady employment without a college degree, so he made a promise to his grandparents that he would create a positive legacy for his family by returning to college.
He chose Stevenson after hearing about the launch of its new football program. As someone searching for an opportunity to change his life, Mayo says, “I didn’t have anything to believe in but I believed in Stevenson’s values.”
As a student-athlete, Mayo's experience was different from that of other students, juggling academics, football, family, and work. Yet he gained a sense of community, and that inspired him to give back.
After graduating from Stevenson as the first member of his family to earn a college degree, Mayo accepted a full-time position with Service Coordination as a Case Manager assisting and advocating for individuals with disabilities. He simultaneously began developing his own organization, Mentoring Mentors, to support underserved youth in his community. Its goal is to provide teens and young adults with opportunities to develop life skills and give back to their community through volunteerism. Mayo also visits schools and other organizations as part of his Words Change initiative, which promotes a sense of support and community for youth in the Baltimore area.
In addition, Mayo is an advocate for the campaign for increasing alumni participation. “I truly believe that it is better to give than it is to receive. If you have an opportunity to help someone, why wouldn’t you?” he asks.