April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we're kicking off Youth Heartline's observance of this important month with a feature on one of our Board Members!
Photo credit: Santa Fe New Mexican
You may not know that YHL's Board President Wiz Allred has dedicated the majority of his adult life to mentoring young men and women - nearly 400 of them at last count!
He's done so out of a powerful need to give back, an important element of his continuing sobriety - and he's done it with a vengeance. Wiz loves his "kids" and has developed an inspirational model wherein he is a stable, loving, consistent, and non-judgmental adult in these young people's lives.
"I love you and I will never judge you. This is about what you want to do with your life, and I'll help you work toward that, 100%," he tells his mentees. There's a quirk too -- within 90 days, each of his mentees must take on their own, younger mentees. Helping other people is beneficial for our own lives. Taking on mentees not only spreads Wiz's loving influence wide across the world, it creates a pervasive, fundamental belief in the value of service.
After many decades of this work, Wiz was recognized as one of 10 Who Made A Difference in New Mexico by the Santa Fe New Mexican. Read his profile here. Wiz is quick to point out that not all his mentees were addicts or struggling youth. But every single one has led a brighter, stronger life with his presence. Watch below for a short video put together by the Santa Fe New Mexican and Wiz's brief remarks at his awards presentation.