SportsBasketballMilwaukee Bucks


Mentee to mentor: Bucks' Bobby Portis, local heroes share impact of mentoring

MENTOR Greater Milwaukee, powered by the Milwaukee Bucks, recently held its third annual Mentoring Symposium at Milwaukee's Italian Community Center.
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 12:14:03-05

MILWAUKEE — Mentoring is a cornerstone of community and a relationship toward brighter futures. Nobody understands that better than Lanelle Ramey who serves as the Executive Director of MENTOR Greater Milwaukee, powered by the Milwaukee Bucks.

"It really shows young people that they have an adult next to them who really cares about them and is there to help guide them on this journey we call life," said Ramey.

The organization recently held its third annual Mentoring Symposium at Milwaukee's Italian Community Center.

"We have companies here, we have educators here, we have barbers here. The idea is, we want to surround our young people everywhere they go with a mentoring relationship," said Ramey.

One of the familiar faces in attendance was Evolve Church's, Pastor Kenneth Lock. He's also the Chaplain and Barber for the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Having a mentor to step into my life and kind of redirect me really was life-changing for me. I became a kid that they didn't expect to graduate to being voted most likely to succeed," said Lock.

Research confirms that mentoring guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them and assures them that they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges. Quality mentoring relationships have positive effects on young people in personal, academic, and professional situations.

"Imagine if every man, woman would just take the time to see one kid and see purpose in 'em. I think we could change our city totally," said Lock.

MENTOR Greater Milwaukee also had an awards luncheon where several individuals were recognized for mentoring including Ryann McNair who won Mentor of the Year.

"I'm not here for the recognition, but for the work I do because it is my purpose to help the young ladies," said McNair.

Bobby Portis says mentoring changed his life

Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis participated and shared that mentoring definitely has had a positive impact on his life.

"Having a good team behind you that loves and supports you, but also tells you the right thing. That's what I got behind me and that's what helped me get to this point right now," said Portis.

Marcus McCarroll has been Bobby's mentor since he was 8 years old and traveled from Little Rock, Arkansas to show his support during this mentoring month.

"I took a liking to Bobby because Bobby was a lot like me. I saw a lot of me in Bobby. From that point we kind of hit it. We took off," said McCarroll.

All of these are examples that mentoring does change lives. In the words of the late great Bill Russell who was a MENTOR founding board member, "There is no such thing as other people's children."

For more information on mentoring or to find a program near you, visit

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip