For more than 20 years, Leslie Ann Milton, or “Miss Ann” as she is better known to the youth she supports, has welcomed teens into her home.
“These kids need love and they need someone to listen to them,” said Miss Ann. “I never turn a kid down.”
In the Codman Square area of Dorchester, Massachusetts, Miss Ann has her village and a home of 42 years where every youth who passes through her door knows he or she can return. And they do—for a second chance, some good advice, or simply to say hello.
“When Miss Ann accepts a child or teen into her home, her commitment and dedication to that child is steadfast,” said Michael Medeiros, a trainer with Massachusetts MENTOR and Miss Ann’s nominator. “She never gives up trying to prepare her children for bright, successful futures. The depth of Miss Ann’s heart is evident to all who meet her.”
Miss Ann is also a support system for her fellow Mentors. She is a certified Massachusetts Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) trainer and has embraced RELATE training, which is the philosophical heart of The MENTOR Network’s clinical model. Along with handing out business cards to new Mentors so they know where to reach her, Miss Ann passes along two mottos: I’m not a quitter and don’t take it personally.
“Miss Ann inspires countless Mentors with her wisdom, passion, humor and skill,” said Paul Cataldo, executive director of Massachusetts MENTOR. “She is an amazing lady, full of love.”
In addition to opening her home to youth at risk, Miss Ann helps her neighbors on a regular basis by taking them to doctors’ appointments, giving food to those faced with homelessness, and lending a hand in a myriad of other ways. Of her giving nature, she said, “My mother instilled it in us and it’s hard to shake.”