My name is Dominique Reese, and I am a 2006 graduate of Auburn High School and a 2010 graduate of The Georgia Institute of Technology. My wife Christian and I have 3 boys, Elijah, Chase, and Luke. Since my college days, I’ve had a desire to implement a mentoring program. My mom saw the need for role models for my brother and me early on – we needed male figures in our lives. From the sixth grade up until now, I’ve had mentors helping to guide me through hard times and achievements.
My mentors, my former teacher Kimberly Roberts, Coaches Frank Tolbert and Robert Maddox, and family friends Laura Cooper and Pete Echols have played a very important role in my life. They have truly been lifelines during my most difficult times. Because I realize the benefit of having a support system, I want all kids to experience that same type of village.
By graduation, a revelation of how imperative my mentors were in my life was crystal clear and I was grateful. Now that I’m married with 3 kids and have moved around 7 times in 7 years due to my career, my desire to get back to Auburn has grown immensely. But as I continue to read news headlines, I’m crushed that people I grew up with are in jail or dead, and that the crime rate in Auburn is growing. A change has to happen. We, as a community, have to focus on the youth. It is our responsibility to guide our kids to make better choices and help them foster a more successful future.
As I ran my idea by friends and family, a community meeting was planned and took place. With confirmation from the community regarding the state of our city and the need for mentors in our area, A2 Advancing Adolescents Inc. was birthed. We are a non-profit mentoring program geared towards providing love and support for youth in Auburn.
Whether I was receiving help with school, playing sports, prepping for a new job, or struggling with family matters, my mentors were always there to help navigate through tough decisions.
A² wants to provide a strong network to help mold adolescents into successful adults. I’m thrilled to team up with a host of different mentors and become a community family for our youth.