CP Celebrates Graduating Mentees

This month, Covington Partners celebrated the mentoring journeys of graduating mentees at the 2024 Senior Mentoring Celebration Breakfast. With over 250 matches districtwide, the program recognized 21 seniors and their volunteer mentors during the event. Matches include those participating in school-based, community-based, work-based, and peer mentoring.


This Senior Class of 2024 is a group of intelligent, compassionate, talented young adults committed to creating a successful future for themselves. The senior mentees are exemplary leaders who have been very successful, both in and outside of the classroom, including Governor’s Scholars, top-performing athletes, artists, leaders in the school’s welding and construction programs, part-time employees, community volunteers, ROTC cadets, Young Life members, NKU college students, Superintendent’s Leadership Council participants, and several scholarship recipients. 

Mentors help their mentees grow into the best version of themselves, providing wisdom and encouragement; checking on the academic performance, attendance, and mental health of the students; and helping set future goals. Mentors have assisted with job and college applications, attended college visits, written recommendation letters, and provided assistance completing the FAFSA. They have provided dedication and unwavering support to their mentees.

Senior Sam Batton & Mentor Jarrett Spisak – 1.5 years matched

According to Jarrett, “Sam is a very resilient young man who never backs down from anything and is always willing to help others. He is very generous and loyal to those he cares about.” 

After graduation Sam plans to go into the workforce with his parents to start a company doing household repairs and lawn maintenance. 

Senior Katherine Collins & Mentor Julie Wharton – 1.5 years matched

One of Julie’s favorite memories of Kat is when Kat heard her complain about not having enough pencils. One morning, Julie came into her office and saw a gift on her desk. It was a bouquet of pencils with a special note from Kat attached. 

After graduation, Kat plans to go into the workforce. 

Senior Ladaja Englemon & Mentor Shana Donskey – 3 years matched

Shana describes Ladaja as creative, sweet, outgoing and driven. She says that Ladaja has taught her to enjoy trying new things. 

Ladaja plans to attend Gateway Community and Technical College through the River City Promise and then transfer to NKU for graphic design.

Senior Cevion Johnson & Mentor Jerry Avery – 1 year matched 

According to Jerry, Cevion is a focused person who is a driven individual that won’t give up regardless of the obstacles in his way. Mr. Avery says that he’s learned from Cevion that more people need to care for the welfare of our children. 

Cevion plans to attend the University of Cincinnati for business. 

Senior Ja’nia Johnson & Mentor Debbie Cannatella – 5.5 years matched

Debbie says that “no matter the adversity Jan’nia has been faced with, she picks herself back up and focuses on as much positive as she can. Ja’nia is audacious, taking personal risks by challenging herself and striving to achieve each new challenge. She has a fierce love of family and has been a second mom to her siblings, setting a good example for self-confidence and healthy choices.”

Ja'nia plans to attend the College of Health and Human Services at NKU with a specialty field in Exercise Science in Sports Medicine while being a D1 track & field athlete.

Senior Ty’Lea Middlebrooks & Mentor Jenelle Kunz – 1.5 years matched

Jenelle describes Ty’Lea as “smart, caring, perceptive, dedicated and strong. Her resolve to overcome circumstances is an inspiration.”

Ty’Lea plans to attend UC and major in criminal justice.

Senior Cloe Serra & Mentor Kate Andriacco – 1 year matched

Kate says that Cloe has “harnessed her strength, found her voice and worked diligently to maintain peace in her life. Cloe's compassion and helpfulness toward others, combined with her intelligence, hard work, and sense of humor, make her an exceptional young woman.”

Cloe plans to attend Gateway Community and Technical College to obtain her associate's degree and then bridge to NKU for her bachelor's degree.

Senior Alianna Strickland & Mentor Jenelle Kunz – 3 years matched

Jenelle’s favorite memory of Alianna is going to the Aronoff to see Girl from the North Country. Despite not having any idea what it was about or whether they would like it or not, it was one of their favorite musicals. 

Alianna plans to attend Miami University and major in nursing.

Senior Nataja Taylor & Mentor Renee Mains – 7 years matched

Renee states that Nataja has made her “more compassionate and has showed how much capacity young people have to be self-aware and responsible.”

Nataja is still undecided about school, but ultimately wants to be in the medical field. 


Work-based mentoring is a collaboration between Covington Partners, Covington Independent Public Schools, and various esteemed community organizations, providing a unique and invaluable opportunity for the young scholars to gain first-hand experience in the professional world. Over the past two years, students were placed in diverse settings, including a prestigious law firm, an inspiring art museum, a dedicated fire station, an innovative hospitality venue, and various impactful social work agencies. Each placement offered a unique window into a different career path, allowing our students to explore their interests and passions in real-world environments.

Students engaged in job shadowing, gaining insight into the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of their chosen fields. They participated in mock interviews, honing their skills and building the confidence needed to navigate future job markets successfully. Resume building workshops equipped them with the tools to present their experiences and qualifications effectively. Teamwork exercises demonstrated the power of collaboration and the importance of working cohesively to achieve common goals. And, perhaps most importantly, they developed essential soft skills–communication, problem-solving, time management and adaptability–which are crucial for any professional endeavor.

When asked their favorite part of the program, the answer of student mentees was unanimous: the mentors. The relationships formed with their mentors were the heart and soul of this experience. The mentors served as advisors, confidants, and role models. They fostered personal growth, instilled confidence, and inspired ambition. The mentors' dedication to nurturing the next generation of professionals has left an indelible mark on our students' lives. 

CFD – Seniors Kai, Danika, Dahnahne, and Frederic

Covington firefighters Joe, Corey, Krista, Pete and Greg spearheaded the implementation of the work-based mentoring program with the Covington Fire Department. Joe even created a year-long curriculum of experiential learning activities for students, in alignment with the Firefighters Explorers Program. Student mentees were able to learn firsthand about fire safety gear, proper use of firefighting tools and equipment, breathing apparatus use, and rescue techniques. 

Senior Kai appreciated all of the positive energy at the firehouse, saying it was “fun to learn new things and to learn how firefighters do their job.” 

Similarly, Danika enjoyed the camaraderie at the fire station. 

Dahnahne’s favorite activity was learning the physics of the pulley system and being lifted high off the ground by his peers. 

Frederic found the fire department to be “an environment where everyone wants you to succeed. They like when you ask questions because that means you are learning. I have learned to have a very firm handshake and that nothing in life is free—I’m excited for my future, for myself, and I’m not afraid to do the hard work.” 

In fact, he enjoyed his experience there so much that he plans to join the Fire Cadet Program once an opportunity is available, earn his bachelor’s degree, and become a full-time firefighter.

Upon graduation, Kai plans to attend Cincinnati State to major in automotive management.

Dahnahne plans to attend a two-year program through the Newport Aquarium, which will enable him to then attend college and obtain his bachelor’s degree in marine biology. 

This fall, Danika is heading to EKU to major in forensics.

DBL Law – Seniors Alise, Misha, Miguel, and Frederic

Mentors Angie, Ellie, Matt and Patrick have mentored the student mentees for two years. Senior mentees learned all about the various types of law, career opportunities within the legal system, and the education and experiences necessary to get there. 

Students mentored by DBL mentors were able to have a small group meeting with Justice Michelle M. Keller, who made history as the first female Supreme Court Justice appointed to Kentucky’s Supreme Court in 2013. Justice Keller sparked inspirational discussion about the importance of increasing diversity in the Kentucky legal pipeline to more accurately represent all Kentuckians. In the words of Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Keller, “You can’t be an agent of change without having a seat at the table.”

From mentor Patrick, Frederic says that he has learned “to be more open. I was always so quiet around everybody, but the mentors at DBL have taught me to be less nervous around a lot of people.”

Miguel is appreciative of his mentor Matt and the program in general as it helped him make up his mind about his career goals by talking through his ideas and getting really good advice. 

For Alise, her mentor Angie has been so much fun to be around and very easy to talk to. She appreciates Angie always listening to her and giving her good advice. “Being here has been so fun and the mentors are all so welcoming that I don’t want to leave because I’ve learned so much.” 

Senior Misha states that mentor “Ellie has taught me to be less serious about things and enjoy the fun parts of life more.”

Miguel plans to attend Wilmington College in the fall or trade school for carpentry and eventually own his own business. 

Alise plans to enter the workforce in a museum space. 

Misha will graduate with her associate’s degree from NKU and will attend Howard University in Washington D.C. on an academic scholarship this fall. 

The Salyers Group – Senior Jack

Work-based mentoring at The Salyers Group was an exceptional opportunity for HHS senior Jack, offering insight into a multifaceted portfolio that includes Fabulous Furs and Bridal, The Madison, Hotel Covington, and North. Experiencing these diverse businesses first-hand is crucial for students to understand the wide range of career possibilities, from fashion and hospitality to event management and engineering. Specifically, mentoring with engineer Chris, who assists in running the hotel was invaluable. Jack was able to shadow Chris managing HVAC systems, troubleshooting electrical issues, and overseeing routine maintenance tasks that keep the hotel running smoothly. He also learned about the implementation of sustainable practices and energy-efficient technologies, gaining insight into how engineering contributes to the hotel's operational efficiency and guest comfort. Through mentoring at Salyers, Jack gained practical skills, industry knowledge, and a clearer vision of potential career paths, all while developing a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of various professions within a dynamic business portfolio.

Jack is very grateful to Chris for teaching him so much about the inner workings of being an engineer and for writing him a recommendation for a civil engineering school. Jack plans to attend Gateway, double major in welding and science, and then transfer to UC for his degree in engineering through the River City Promise. 

Social Work – Seniors Yvonne, Mayne, and Cloe

Experiencing what a career in social work is like before committing to the profession allows students to understand the challenges and rewards involved, helping them make informed decisions about their future paths. During this program, students visited local agencies such as the ION Violence Prevention Center, the Cabinet for Health and Human Services, and Brighton Recovery Center. These visits exposed them to various facets of social work, from violence prevention and health services to addiction recovery, highlighting the diverse opportunities and critical impact social workers have on individuals and communities. This immersive experience fosters a deeper appreciation and commitment to the field, preparing students for meaningful careers dedicated to helping others.

Senior Yvonne commented, “I really liked being able to explore all the different types of social work. I liked how we were able to talk to the employees and we had group discussions. My favorite was when we went to the Cabinet. I want to be a social worker so I can help kids get out of bad situations.”

Yvonne and Mayne plan to attend NKU in the fall to major in social work, and Cloe will be attending Gateway Community and Technical College, then bridging to NKU through the River City Promise. 

Taft Museum of Art – Seniors Lacie and Oliviah

Through their time at the Taft Art Museum, seniors Lacie and Oliviah engaged with mentor Kareem, participated in behind-the-scenes tours, and witnessed the intricate processes of exhibition planning and art preservation. They also explored the profound impact of art and beauty on society, understanding how art shapes culture, influences emotions, and inspires creativity. This exposure not only fueled their passion for the arts but also provided them with practical knowledge and skills, inspiring them to envision and pursue fulfilling careers in the art world.

Lacie says, “I enjoyed meeting new people, seeing all of the artwork and the behind the scenes work of the museum. Kareem took the time to help me figure out what I want to do. He was very supportive of my goals.” 

Oliviah really enjoyed meeting with Kareem, thought it was a “really cool experience just to be able to go to the Taft," and appreciated being able to talk with him about art because they had similar viewpoints on the world and art in general.

Lacie plans to attend barber school, begin working, and then attend cosmetology school to become a hairstylist.  

Oliviah will be attending NKU on an academic scholarship and majoring in biology.


The PAL peer mentoring program is an impactful program where upper class student mentors provide one-on-one guidance to ninth-grade students, fostering leadership skills, communication abilities, problem-solving, and teambuilding. Through this initiative, seniors Ladaja, Frederic, and Cloe helped pilot the program three years ago and have since emerged as true leaders, learning to communicate effectively and navigate challenges alongside their younger peers. Additionally, they have guided ninth graders in adjusting to high school life, helping them tackle academic and social obstacles while building a supportive community.

Senior Ladaja Englemon

Ladaja says her favorite part of the PAL program was the group activities and being able to bond with people in different grades.

Senior Frederic Hamler

Frederic’s honesty and authenticity are respected by his peers, as is his work ethic and commitment to helping others. Frederic really liked the “little corny games in peer mentoring that actually turned out to be pretty fun.” He also enjoyed meeting new people and being somewhere he felt comfortable. 

Senior Cloe Serra

Cloe’s favorite part of peer mentoring was having a place where she could safely talk about things. Cloe’s peers describe her as “smart, beautiful, talented, and helpful. She has a soothing presence that helps keep people calmed down. She is very dependable and someone you can always count on.”
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