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American Red Cross Honors Mentoring4Success Director

by Cheryl Cadue last modified Jul 07, 2015 02:30 PM
The American Red Cross recently named Gloria Geither, mentoring director for the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), its 2014 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Community Service Hero for her work matching offenders with mentors in the community.
American Red Cross Honors Mentoring4Success Director

Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts congratulates Mentoring Director Gloria Geither for being honored as the American Red Cross 2014 Community Service Hero.

Approximately 160 attendees recognized Geither and 12 other “unsung heroes” for acts of bravery, dedication and service to the community during the American Red Cross Kansas Capital Area Chapter’s “Tribute to Heroes: Everyday People, Extraordinary Courage” held April 28 in Topeka.

Geither leads the KDOC’s Mentoring4Success initiative begun in 2011 as part of Governor Sam Brownback’s Road Map for Kansas. The community-based statewide initiative matches mentors to offenders six to 12 months prior to an offender's release from prison. The KDOC’s goal is to ensure that every offender leaving prison has the opportunity to work with a mentor. To date, more than 3,200 offenders have been matched with mentors.

“Gloria has worked tirelessly to promote and facilitate the Mentoring4Success program and the results show,” said Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts. “She’s pulled together mentors from across the state and, not only are offenders gaining the assistance needed to reenter society, but we’re seeing a drop in recidivism rates in that served population. Gloria’s a tremendously hard worker and this award couldn’t be more deserved.”

Nearly 4,700 offenders leave prison each year and many need help finding employment/housing, getting connected to services and treatment and reuniting safely with neighborhoods/families. Mentors support the work of correctional case workers and service/treatment providers by assisting offenders in reaching their reentry plan goals. Mentors also play a critical role in helping offenders establish a life of pro-social behavior and meaningful engagement within their communities.

“Mentoring4Success is reducing the prison population,” wrote Jeff Wagaman, executive director of the Division of Crime Victims Compensation, Kansas Attorney General's Office, in nominating Geither. “Individuals now have the self-confidence to find jobs and be productive members of the community as opposed to re-offending thanks to Gloria’s leadership and determination to make the program a positive influence in our community.”

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