Mentors Care Awards Wes Dorough of John Houston Family of Companies Its First Ever Carl Smith Outstanding Mentor Award

Mentors Care, a high school mentoring nonprofit organization, presented its first ever Outstanding Mentor award Friday to Wes Dorough, a dedicated mentor for the organization.  The award was named after the late Carl Smith, former Mentors Care board member and former Midlothian Independent School District school board member. Smith was passionate about helping the struggling students of Mentors Care and was a lifelong mentor for many people in his lifetime. Dorough, Construction Manager for John Houston Development, one of six companies within the John Houston Family of Companies, was selected to receive the honor out of more than 225 mentors across seven North Texas high schools. Selection for the award is based on criteria created by Smith’s wife, Ann Margaret, who recently took his place on the board of directors for Mentors Care. 

“The selection process was grueling,” said Dena Petty, Mentors Care founder and executive director. “Every single mentor is amazing. A coordinator from each school we serve carefully chose a mentor for the nomination, but it was difficult for them. At the end of the day, the most compelling choice was Wes,” said Petty. 

Ann Margaret drafted the award qualifications based on the impeccable character her husband exhibited throughout his life and the legacy he left behind:  Integrity, strength, and humility; caring dedication and compassion for the students of Mentors Care; and going the extra mile to ensure students know they are valued and have a purpose. 

Award recipient Dorough is a mentor at Red Oak High School. Mentor Coordinator Sean Byars describes him as ‘the epitome of dedication and concern for his students’. 

“The preparation that he puts into each meeting [with his students] is so much more than I would have ever expected or asked,” said Byars. “Wes is an amazing person who loves with all that he has and is truly invested in his relationships with his students.” 

Dorough’s story is one very familiar to the staff of Mentors Care. As a child, he needed a program like Mentors Care. He felt so strongly about the need for mentoring that he mentored friends while in college.

Dorough has been a highly successful mentor for Mentors Care for three years.  His former students have gone on to graduate and two are currently attending college. The student he mentored last year came into the program from the Dallas Juvenile Justice Alternative Learning Program (JJAEP). After spending the school year mentoring one-to-one with Dorough, the student graduated from high school early, registered himself for college, and is currently studying to be an accountant. (Learn more about JJAEP by visiting this link

John Houston Family of Companies encourages employees to volunteer for Mentors Care and other organizations in the community. 

“Wes is such an inspiration to me and our team,” said Chip Boyd, Chief Operations Officer of John Houston Development and Mentors Care board member. “He has impacted me, personally, by being a joyful, hope-filled, loving guide and introducing me to the Mentors Care program three years ago when he inspired me to become one as well. I can think of no one that would be more deserving of this recognition and more capable of representing the standards and character of carrying on the memory of Carl Smith,” said Boyd. 

About Mentors Care

Mentors Care is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization connecting high school students considered to be at risk of not graduating due to poor academic performance. Mentors Care currently serves school districts in suburban and rural areas with little or no resources available to address student barriers to academic success. Over the course of eight months, mentors spend approximately one hour each week with with their respective students reviewing grades and assignments and assessing strengths and areas for improvement. Mentors Care mentors are specially trained and equipped with its proven 24 Talking Points© and other program material designed to help students develop healthy self-perception and awareness of the many opportunity that abound in the world around them. 

For more information about Mentors Care and how you can become a mentor, visit

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