Connecting Generations honors Cape district mentors

Hoey Stevenson, Aufmuth, Jordan among county award recipients
August 1, 2022

Three Cape Henlopen School District mentors have been recognized by Connecting Generations for their work in local schools in the program’s first year.

Connecting Generations operates the Creative Mentoring program for adaptation in Sussex, Kent and New Castle county schools. Cape launched its mentoring program in November 2021.

Mentors Raymond Aufmuth and Martin Jordan and District Mentor Coordinator Kim Hoey Stevenson were presented with awards representing their dedication to the Creative Mentoring program.

Hoey Stevenson, who was named District Coordinator of the Year, said 108 people signed up to be mentors in the Cape district in the 2021-22 school year. After mentors complete a free two-hour training, they are matched with students by a mentor coordinator in each school. 

Many retired teachers and several child therapists have stepped up to mentor children, Hoey Stevenson said, noting that one mentor at Cape High told her their student, a girl, said she needed someone to remind her of her greatness.

“It’s one program, with two lives changed,” Hoey Stevenson said.

At the elementary level, several mentors have more than one child, Hoey Stevenson said, and others also volunteer within the school and mentor a child. The program aims to create a relationship with a positive adult in their lives, someone who will listen, she said.

“People want to help, and it’s a great cause, so why wouldn’t they?” Hoey Stevenson said.

The program also helps boost student attendance in school, she said; often, kids who have trouble making it to school come on the days they meet with their mentors. Kids say their mentors talk them through issues and even help with their anxiety, she said, and a lot of kids just need someone who isn’t a parent to talk to.

“My goal is to have a mentor available for every kid in the district, because I don’t know a child in the world who wouldn’t benefit from having a mentor,” she said.

Creative Mentoring Director Tanny Dickerson said when she met Hoey Stevenson, she knew she was someone with a heart for her community.

“During each of my visits, Kim met me with a bright smile and a warm disposition,” Dickerson said. “Her attention to detail and concern about each program was apparent when she came through the doors of each school. Her enthusiasm to highlight the success of each program produced a welcoming atmosphere for everyone who came in contact with her.”

Aufmuth was named a Mentor of the Year in Sussex County for his work with students at Shields/Lewes Elementary. He said he became a mentor because he always wanted to teach. 

After retirement, he became a substitute in Montgomery County schools, working with special education and autistic students. It didn’t take long for Aufmuth to be a sought-after sub by teachers, and by his third year, he was nearly a full-time employee.

When he moved to Lewes, he started working at a YMCA program with middle school kids before learning about the Cape mentor program in the Cape Gazette. First a mentor to two boys, he later took on a third boy. 

“I had a blast with them,” he said. “Every day is a new experience. I enjoy the little moments when they realize they’ve done something good.”

Aufmuth said he talks to his students’ teachers to see what the children need to work on, and students have a half hour to study, play games, and just talk about life in general.

“Seeing how ready these kids are to spend 30 minutes with me – and they didn’t know me from scratch – is neat,” he said. 

Shields/Lewes Elementary Mentor Coordinator Brittany Hoeller said Aufmuth has been a bright spot in the program

“He is very flexible with student schedules and provides a positive and consistent presence with the children he mentors,” Hoeller said. “His work with his mentees has proved fruitful in both their academic and social-emotional connections.”

Jordan, Mentor of the Year in Sussex County for his work with students at Rehoboth Elementary, came to the school with a background in mentoring. He said it’s a great way for retirees to connect with students and their community. 

“The best part about mentoring is the bond made with your student,” he said. “It’s a safe place for kids. To see a smile on his face – I can tell he enjoys it, too. Hopefully I can continue to help build his confidence and he can see how smart he really is.”

Jordan said he remembers what it’s like to be a kid, and everyone could use someone to look up to.

Rehoboth Elementary Mentor Coordinator Amanda Grube said the connection Jordan made with his student has been very important to his mentee.

“Martin’s mentee has a lot of trouble having a positive outlook on school,” Grube said. “He has a hard time talking about himself in a positive way and also talking to others in a positive way. Since his sessions have started, he is always eager to join sessions with his mentor and looks forward to them each week.”

Both Aufmuth and Jordan said they hope to continue mentoring their students in the next school year. 

More mentors are needed in both middle schools, and at H.O. Brittingham and Milton elementary schools, Hoey Stevenson said. The program starts in late September to early October, so mentors have summers off. 

Hoey Stevenson encourages employers to get involved and allow their employees to mentor during the day; homeowners associations are also welcome to inquire about the program. 

To learn more about becoming a mentor, email


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