"Raise Me Up" mentors make a difference

PHILADLEPHIA - October 6, 2009 RELATED LINK: The "Raise Me Up" website

When Latoya Heard turned 16, she met a mentor named Jill McPherson through the "Achieving Independence Center." Jill has a son of her own, but knew she could do more to reach out to someone in need. Jill and Latoya see each other a couple of times a month and are always just a phone call away. Jill gave Latoya the guidance she needed as she ventured out on her own at a young age.

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"I finally got somebody," Latoya Heard said. "That I can talk to now, who is there for me and don't judge me."

Jill McPherson said, "It's allowed me to open up my mind, To be more open to different situations and more understanding and compassionate to people's situations."

You can see the connection between them. In the little time that Jill volunteers, she was able to change Latoya's life forever. Latoya hopes to go to college and become a nurse or psychiatrist so she can give back and help others.

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