It’s often said, “it takes a village to raise a child.” And nobody knows this better than Lyndora Frazier, who was recently promoted to Director of the Judith & Jack Rosenberg Mentoring 4 Kids Program at Alpert Jewish Family Service.
“There are many people from all different stages of my life who’ve mentored and inspired me to be the person I am today,” she says. “I am still in touch with many of those individuals. This is the spirit behind Mentoring 4 Kids and it drives my passion to lead the program.”
Mentoring 4 Kids is a free, non-sectarian program that provides a same-gender role model for children ages 6 to 14. It helps fill a void in a child’s life caused by the absence or loss of a significant caregiver. Before her promotion to director, Lyndora served as Mentoring 4 Kids’ outreach coordinator for the last four years.
“I’m living proof that mentors positively impact a child’s life,” she says. “It’s the difference between a child having opportunities, or their life taking a wrong turn.”
Born in the Dominican Republic, Lyndora moved to Florida when she was nine months old. Raised by loving foster parents, she was fortunate to have a relationship with her maternal grandmother who lived to be 102 years old. She often spent weekends with her in Gadsden County, near Tallahassee.
“She was the most beautiful woman with long, flowing grey hair,” remembers Lyndora. “In the 1960s, she and my grandfather were among the first African American farmers to own land in Gadsden County.” Lyndora’s grandparents made history in 1962 when they provided room and board to the first 12 African American students that integrated Florida State University.
Lyndora’s grandfather mentored Maxwell Courtney, the first African American male to attend Florida State University. Her grandparents also helped raise money to incorporate the University’s Black Student Union in 1968.
“My grandmother often told me stories about how she and my grandfather risked their lives during the civil rights movement to ensure I had better opportunities.”
Lyndora also points to another lifelong mentor, her junior high math teacher, Mrs. Burton, who recognized her potential and encouraged her to grow as a person. “She called me ‘Butterfly’ because she said we all go through life changes. The nickname stuck. To this day, many people call me ‘Butterfly!’”
Lyndora is currently a student at Florida Atlantic University, pursuing her Ph.D. in counseling. She has also earned two master’s degrees—one in nonprofit management from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and the other in mental health counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University. In addition, she has over 13 years of experience in community outreach, case management, program development, and volunteer management.
“Pursuing my education honors my grandparents’ legacy, plus it also demonstrates to my son that anything is possible when you believe in yourself.” To that end, the precocious seven-year-old loves insects and already has his sights set on becoming an entomologist.
In her spare time, Lyndora enjoys mentoring youth in foster care, empowering them to turn their dreams into reality. She believes that youth in underserved communities are “not at risk” they are “at purpose.” Lyndora also takes pride in being a military wife, to an amazing husband and father.
On weekends you’ll find her visiting Butterfly World or relaxing at the beach, reading a book by one of her favorite authors, Brene Brown.
She also finds inspiration in the work of Dr. Maya Angelou. Lyndora’s favorite quote from Dr. Angelou comes from a 2009 interview with the poet in Psychology Today: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. It may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Lyndora is excited to hear from individuals interested in stepping up to volunteer with the Mentoring 4 Kids program. Why not be part of the village making a difference in a child’s life? For more information about Mentoring 4 Kids, contact Lyndora directly at (561) 713-1844 or email [email protected].