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Justin Powell is one of the newer mentors with Guilford Youth Mentoring. (Photo courtesy of Dani Howard )
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Justin Powell joined the Stone Agency this past December. His new colleagues Rob Oman and Doug Danaher would not stop talking about Guilford Youth Mentoring (GYM), so he decided he should try it for himself.
“Honestly, I was excited to meet another kid,” he admitted.
Powell grew up in Yalesville through 8th grade before moving to North Branford to attend high school. He attended the University of New Haven and played on its storied NCAA Division II baseball team. He was admittedly not the best student in his youth, and he jokingly says he was on “the 10-year plan” for his degree in business administration.
His work background is varied and includes a two-year stint in the driveway business before he moved on to 13 years in the mortgage industry. Mortgages led him to financial planning; the insurance business with the Stone Agency seemed like a natural progression for him. The Stone Agency has been a longtime corporate partner with GYM with multiple employees mentoring with GYM.
Powell and his wife, Meghan, moved to Guilford in 2009 with their three boys Connor, now 14, Payton, 12, and Max, 10. They spend a lot of time traveling to and watching youth sports. Powell also donates his time as a coach.
Sports has played a major role in Powell’s life and he named a coach as one of his greatest mentors.
“Porky V [famed baseball coach Frank Vieira from the University of New Haven] taught me a lot about discipline and hard work,” he said. “I really took a lot away from my college years playing for him.”
When asked why he became a mentor, Powell took a frank moment to talk about some parts of his life that were hard.
“I missed out on college because of my grades. My younger brother—I’m one of four brothers—struggled with addiction and we lost him to a drug overdose,” he said. “If sharing my experiences can help someone else deal with their life, then I feel like I’m doing some good.”
Although it’s only an hour a week, mentoring is really rewarding for Powell.
“Mentoring makes me feel good,” he said. “I meet with a 5th grader at Baldwin. We talk about grades and sports and we play basketball. It seems like a good fit.”
To find out more about GYM’s program, mentoring, or how to help, visit www.guilfordmentoring.org or call the GYM office at 203-453-2741. Dial 7 for Mentoring.
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