James E. Lee with his Mumford High School mentees.
It is with great sadness we share that we lost an amazing mentor and friend, James E. Lee, on April 19, 2020.
James was a transformative servant in his community and positively influenced the lives of many young men through serving as a coach, volunteering at his community center, and mentoring through Winning Futures. Since 2014, James has made a life-changing impact on the 19 boys he mentored through Winning Futures and inspired all of us with his positive attitude and enthusiasm.
James went above and beyond what was expected of him. In addition to mentoring students, James also coached new mentors as they tried to establish strong relationships with their mentees. He was to the first to volunteer to fill in when other mentors had to be absent and help out at events when we needed it. James was a real-life superhero, and we were honored to present James with the 2016 Mentor of the Year Award.
His mentees shared:
“The reason my mentor should be mentor of the year is because he’s earned my trust. James E. Lee is a person who keeps their promise no matter what. He promised me he would come to all the wrestling meets he could make it to, and he kept the promise. James E. Lee is a second grandpa.”
“Mr. Lee cares about us personally and shows he wants us to be on the right track for a good future.”
“He understands people and really tries his best to do right for them. He is trying his best to see that I succeed in my dreams and passions.”
“I wouldn’t have even passed my class if it wasn’t for him. Mr. Lee is the reason I’m graduating from high school because he never lowered his expectations of me.”
James genuinely made this world a better place and brought hope to all of us.