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Upthegrove delivers ‘retired’ van to assist youth mentoring program in Kent


Glover EmpowerMentoring program will use the vehicle to drive youth to mentoring meetings and educational events


 Councilmember  Upthegrove presents the keys to a surplus King County van to GEM Cofounder and President Kendrick Glover

On Wednesday, April 20th, Metropolitan King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove delivered a seven-passenger van to Glover EmpowerMentoring program to transport young men to weekly group meetings and educational events.

“I’m thrilled that this ‘retired’ county van will be used to help young men in Kent succeed and build community,” said Upthegrove. “We’ve all heard the stories of young people whose lives were changed by a caring adult. GEM is making those stories become reality for so many in South King County.”

Glover EmpowerMentoring program will primarily use the van to transport mentees to and from weekly group meetings, community events, and educational field trips. GEM provides mentors for young men aged 13-21 in the Kent area and offers weekly meetings where mentors and mentees share a meal and work on goal setting, confidence building, job skills, budgeting, and tutoring.

"Transportation has been a barrier to enhancement of the mentor/mentee relationship,” said Cofounder and President Kendrick Glover. “The donation of this van will not only help eliminate this barrier but provide growth and opportunity for exposure of educational and recreational activities.”

Since 1995, the County Council has donated vans from Metro’s Vanpool to local cities and nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for low-income, elderly, youth and disabled residents. The vans are part of a fleet of county vehicles that have been ‘retired’ after exceeding a certain number of miles.

Governments, agencies and organizations that receive a van must meet certain criteria, such as provide an outline of specific plans for its use, demonstrate the ability to provide trained drivers and assure that the van will be made available to assist individuals without regard to affiliation with any particular organization.

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