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Mentor Connection Helping Teenager Navigate Obstacles to Adulthood

Mentoring Makes a DifferenceAn average young man could attempt to single-handedly take on the difficulties of adulthood without actively trying to relate to a male adult, but Jeff is no average young man.

Through the Mentor Connection program, Jeff, an 18-year-old Royal Oak resident, has found comfort, information and fun with Todd Schafer, 45, of Beverly Hills, who befriended him in place of an absentee father.

“To have someone there who I can talk to without needing to spell everything out is important,” said Jeff, a high school senior whose last name is withheld from this story. “We really are really comfortable with each other … he’s like family I never had.”

For the past eight years, Jeff has been able to reach out past his friends at school and his family at home, where he lives with his grandmother, grandfather and mother.

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