Our History

Mentor’s Care is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded by Dena Petty in 2009 and originally incorporated as a non-profit organization called Movement Toward a Future, LLC. Everything in this program and what it hopes to accomplish is based on what Petty wished she had as a kid growing up in a very dysfunctional environment. The goal of Mentors Care is to give students what they need, not only to graduate, but to live their lives to the fullest potential. 

Petty has worked and created this program from the ground up, learning hard lessons along the way. Now, after 10 years, we are seeing the traction and the impact of Mentors Care grow and become an unstoppable force in the lives of so many students AND volunteers! The people serving as staff and board members continue to stick with us and support the program heartedly. There has been little turnover on our board because, at this point, it is a well-oiled machine and is one of the best boards in the state of Texas without a doubt. 

Impact by the Numbers

Mentors Care Works and we can prove it!

We have statistical data to prove that after the first year of mentoring, our at-risk students close the educational gap with their peers

In the 2018-19 school year, 98% of seniors in our program GRADUATED!

85% of at-risk students in our program maintained and/or earned more credits than the previous year!

We connected 51% of at-risk students to community resources meeting needs such as food, clothing, housing, etc.

“To laugh is to risk appearing a fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To place your ideas, your dreams, before the crowd, is to risk their loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But the risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He/She may avoid suffering and sorrow, but she/he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. Chained by his/her certitudes, she/he is a slave, he/she has forfeited her/his freedom. Only a person who risks is free.”
-William Arthur Ward
Dena Petty, Founder
Mentors Care



“I’m truly honored to have this opportunity to serve students who are struggling with issues ranging from just being teenagers on the wrong path to coping with seeing their parents murdered and now have nowhere to turn. I LOVE serving with all of you… to be a part of this, “thankfulness” is an understatement.”


Mentors Care’s mission is to provide at-risk high school students mentors, tools, and resources in school districts throughout the State of Texas and beyond. Mentors Care will promote itself to school districts which are historically underserved, then work with the school district to enlist, train and equip volunteer mentors to care about – and to believe in – the kids they serve.


Connecting at-risk high school students with adult volunteers to mentor the student to graduation and purposeful life.

Why We Exist

We have a significant population of students in our high schools who are at-risk of failing or not graduating due to homelessness, impoverishment, poor support systems, failed classes in previous years, poor attendance, incarcerated parents, single-parent homes, peer pressure, poor judgment and more.

Even students with loving parents and guardians can sometimes get off track. Mentors Care partners with those parents and school administrators to match “at-risk” students with caring mentors to help get them back onto a healthy course. Students without positive adult role models are at real risk of not graduating and often face more difficult futures. 

Our mentors assure young people that someone cares for them; that they are not alone in dealing with life’s day-to-day challenges. Mentors help students know they truly matter. 

Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and their future. Ultimately, mentoring helps propel at-risk students to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity that they might otherwise never realize. Yet only one in three at risk students will ever be offered the opportunity to have a mentor.

More likely to enroll in college

Are interested in becoming a mentor

More likely to volunteer regularly

More likely to hold leadership positions

  • In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain better attitudes toward school. (The Role of Risk, 2013)
  • Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters)