Tag Archive for: Mill City Mentors

ed with luke on a bike
ed with luke on a bike

Mill City Mentors Goes Virtual

9/23/21 > LOWELL » The goal of Mill City Mentors is to provide support to area youth facing adversity by connecting them with a volunteer mentor to confide in and spend time with.

Mill City Mentors endured a major obstacle last year when the coronavirus pandemic struck, eliminating the program’s ability to have mentors meet face- to- face with mentees.

The program — part of Greater Lowell nonprofit Community Teamwork Inc. — was able to adapt.

With the nation in lockdown, Mill City Mentors switched to virtual mentoring, or eMentoring, in April 2020, according to Program Director Ed Banks. The new method of mentoring turned out to be a success and has introduced a new dynamic to the realm of mentoring.

Tewksbury residents Bruce Gorman and his wife, MJ Gorman, said life was already difficult for 9- year- old Luke Gorman

before the pandemic took hold. Luke is Bruce’s son from a previous marriage. Bruce had previously shared joint custody of Luke with his ex-wife. Now, Luke was living fulltime with him and his wife.

“A (Department of Children and Families) caseworker suggested after talking to Luke that it would be nice for him to have a mentor, a big brother, or someone who he could talk to who wasn’t a parent,” Bruce Gorman said.

“A neutral ground person,” MJ Gorman added.

The mentorship was set up at the beginning of the pandemic, with Banks serving as Luke’s “eMentor.” It worked out well, as Banks and Luke quickly developed a strong relationship, built mostly around a joint love for video games.

“Early on in the pandemic, no one really knew what was happening, so it was good for him to get some sort of socialization with someone outside of our family,” MJ Gorman said.

Charles Calenda is one of the Mill City Mentors volunteers, serving as a mentor to a 10- year- old for the past year.

“(The program) looked like a great way to get involved and kinda help build a brighter and more prosperous future for the kids,” said Calenda, a 25year- old medical student who grew up in Chelmsford.

“It was a very exciting and inspiring moment for me to be able to meet someone I’d be able to have an impact on,” he said.

Calenda acknowledges he was hesitant about meeting his mentee for the first time over Zoom, but the two quickly clicked.

“A lot of the mentorships would have diminished without this option,” Calenda said about the eMentorship program.

For anyone interested in mentoring an area youth or for those looking for a mentor for their family, apply at commteam.org/millcitymentors.

Mill City Mentors Program Director Ed Banks delivers a bike donated by Kevin Kuhs to a mentee. -courtesy of Community TeamWork Inc.

Luke Gorman, 9, of Tewksbury, is seen on a screen during one of his ementoring sessions through the Mill City Mentors program, which is part of Community Teamwork Inc.

By Aaron Curtis acurtis@lowellsun. com Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis

Mill City Mentors Goes Virtual

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Helping Clients at Home Lowell Sun REV
Helping Clients at Home Lowell Sun REV

Community Teamwork, Inc. HELPING CLIENTS AT HOME

Published in the Lowell Sun, Thursday, April 23, 2020

Merrimack Valley Magazine Article March Mill City Mentors
Merrimack Valley Magazine Article March Mill City Mentors

Lasting Legacy – Mill City Mentors

community profile

m e r r i m a c k  v a l l e y  m a g a z i n e     March |  April 2020

text and photos by Deborah A. Venuti


page 18     

When Nathan Timm was 9 years old, he and his twin brother, Nick, were recommended to be matched with mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lowell (now Mill City Mentors). Their living situation at the time, according to Nate, was “not the best.” Originally from the Lowell-Dracut area, the boys lacked positive male role models. They often went without food or proper clothing. Nate was matched with a big brother named Tim, who saw the void at home and strove to fill in the gaps in his life. Tim helped provide clothes and food. He made sure the brothers had lunch money for school and introduced them to his  own  family. He spent time with them, took them places and encouraged them to be their best.

Eventually, the lives of the two brothers improved. A family friend took them into her home. With the support of Tim and his family, the boys completed high school and were accepted into colleges.  Nate graduated  from Fitchburg  State University in 2014 with a degree in business management and is currently a systems analyst. Nick graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2015 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and Southern New Hampshire University in 2018 with an MBA.

Mill City Mentors (MCM) is a mentoring program of Community Teamwork in Lowell. Formerly known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lowell, th e nonprofit organization was rebranded last year. It is designed to assist youths in 17 Greater Lowell communities: Ashby, Ayer, Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton , Lowell, Pelham , Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro and Westford.

MCM serves about 40 families a year and focuses on children and young adults ages 7 to 22. These individuals are at-risk, facing adversity and in need of support. They often have behavioral issues or are homeless. They can be referred to the program by families, support agencies, school principals or guidance counselors. Recently, MCM has begun moving from traditional referrals to site-based school programs. This change allows mentors to be accessible on-site once a week and to engage with more children of different ages and genders.

Ed Banks, the program coordinator for Mill City Mentors, joined the MCM team in May 2019. Ed connects youths with­ mentors, and also acts as mentor-match support. Mill City Mentors is partially funded and supported by Mass Mentoring Partnership and the United Way. In 2019, the Mass Mentoring Partnership gave MCM the opportunity to have an  AmeriCorps  ambassador of mentoring, Kyle Cregg, on-site.  Cregg works with Banks and Bridget Quinn, the director of volunteer services, on marketing, rebranding and fundraising.

Nate, now 26, has been involved with the organization for,- 7 years and is a mentor himself. Nick is also involved with MCM and is a member of the charity  golf  fundraising  committee. Rather than spending money on the individuals they are assisting, mentors are instead encouraged to give their time. Nate and Josh, the boy he is mentoring, go bowling, play at the  arcades,  take their dogs to the dog park, or just hang out at  home  and  play video games. Nate often sees his longtime big brother, Tim, for breakfast. Josh’s mother sent mvm a photo of Tim, Nate and Josh , a legacy of support and empowerment.

Get involved!
Mentors are everyday people who want to have fun and make a difference in the life of a child or young adult.
For information on how to become a mentor or how to refer an individual from Greater Lowell, go to CommTeam.org/millcitymentors
or email Bridget Quinn at



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