Stories

Mrs. Lillian Whitmore

Mrs. Lillian Whitmore has been a foster grandparent volunteer with Porter-Leath for over six years, serving over 1,000 hours each year. She has volunteered with children at Douglass Elementary focusing on reading and literacy and most recently mentoring children and youth at the North Branch Library. Mrs. Whitmore inspires the children and teens to strive toward academic excellence. She spends much of her 16 hours a week helping and encouraging the youth to complete homework assignments. Her presence in the library after school has helped to encourage the youth to complete their homework assignments, even when that is the last thing they want to do after a long day at school. 

Through her continued encouragement and guidance she has helped a young lady go from failing Algebra to passing, just in a few months. Mrs. Whitmore serves as a mentor to some of the youth attending Northside High. She takes the time to help the students, especially those struggling. Recently with one young man who was at risk of not graduating, she took extra time to help him with make-up assignments so he could get back on track to reach his goal of obtaining his high school diploma. 

Mrs. Whitmore mentors children of all ages, but the teens are near and dear to her heart. She has served as a speaker to the teens at special programs at the library, especially on the topic of Black History and Civil Rights. She feels it is so important for the youth to learn about their history. She has been actively involved in a program called “Keep It Real” where she has helped prepare programs for the group discussion. She has developed questions and participated in roundtable discussions on real life issues the youth may face. She will even come to the library in the evening to participate in special events, even when this can be a burden since she uses public transportation. 

Mrs. Whitmore has mentored many children through her 6 years as a foster grandparent. She volunteered her first 2 years at Douglass Elementary where she spent 20 hours each week working with 10 first graders. Because of her past knowledge of computers, her task was to assist the children in learning how to use the computer to complete their literacy program. Through her dedication her teacher’s class was noted to have the most children complete the required hours each week in the program. She has spent the last almost 5 years at the library where she mentors approximately 15 youth each year. She lights up the library with her smile and true dedication to the children and youth. Grandma Whitmore was nominated and selected as a finalist for the Ujima Award through Memphis CARES Mentoring Movement in 2015.

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