2015 Carmen and Tony Messineo Community Involvement Award Winner: Murph Brown

Murph Brown with several of his TeamMates mentees

Murph first joined TeamMates as a mentor in 1999. He was matched with Joshua at Lux Middle School. Later, Murph mentored John, Stan, Austin, Benji, Sam, Colby, Jacob, Kaleb, Chap, Cameron and Cody. Four of those young men he was matched with from middle school through high school graduation.

TeamMates asks its volunteer mentors to mentor one child, one hour a week during the school year. Throughout his TeamMates career, Murph demonstrated his dedication to the young men of Lincoln by going above and beyond and consistently mentoring more than one student at a time. From 2008-2015, Murph mentored at least four students a year. In 2015, each week he met with three students at East High School and one at Southeast. Over the course of his time as a mentor, he has devoted more than 1000 hours to these young men. 

Julie Harder, Instructional Coordinator and TeamMates facilitator at Lincoln East High said, “Murph is a kind, compassionate, and caring gentleman. He has a calmness in spirit that gives him the ability to connect with a variety of personalities, and in turn, they are affected in a way beyond just spending time together. The students that Murph mentors look forward to meeting with him, wanting to spend every minute possible together… There is a respect that Murph extends to his students that they return to him; and the relationships are forged beyond the school years.”

Murph was consistently recognized for meeting with his mentees 24 or more times per year. When a mentor meets with a student 24 or more times during the academic year, the student is more likely to have improved academic performance and attendance. This level of commitment is needed, if TeamMates is to realize its mission. 

In 2011, Murph received the Decade of Difference Award for ten or more years of service to TeamMates.  He was nominated for the Mentor Hall of Fame in both 2007 and 2012 because his one-hour contribution made a positive change in the life of one of the students he mentored. When Murph was nominated for Mentor Hall of Fame, Pam Dinneen, school facilitator, said “He is totally invested in being a role model and making a difference in the lives of his mentees. He builds character, confidence, and relationships throughout their years together.”

The TeamMates Mentoring Program fosters many long-term friendships between mentors and mentees. Murph has maintained contact with former mentees and he has had mentees who have been out of the program for 10 years call him to reconnect. When I called Murph to inform him of his community service award, he said “I get more out of serving than I’m sure the boys do,”

Murph Brown, thank you for the care, dedication, commitment, and love you have shown TeamMates and the young men you have mentored.