Meet Anton and Jim
My name is Anton Koyton, I am a VIP Alumni. It was 2002 and I was 12 years old in Middle School at the Detroit Lions Academy that’s when I first heard about VIP Mentoring. Being raised in a single parent home, I felt I was in need of a male role model, so I decided to ask my mom if I could participate in the program and she thought it would be a good idea.
Shortly thereafter I met Mr. Comer. I was nervous at first, but over time, I warmed up and began to feel more comfortable. It still took my mom a while but it was not long before she came around. Since mentoring was new to me, I went into it not really knowing what to expect. Our interactions began with me just spending time with my mentor, Mr. Comer, according to the VIP Mentoring program policies; once a week for one year, but, as time went on, a bond was developed. Although the word “mentor” is the term that was attached to our relationship in the beginning, it quickly developed into more of a father/son relationship.
Mr. Comer has been a part of my life for almost 15 years and I cannot imagine him not being a part of my life. He has instilled many values in me that have made me into the young man that I am today. He set high expectations for me and when I made bad choices or decisions, Mr. Comer was there for me through thick and thin. He was there for me through most of my academic years, watching me complete middle school and graduate from high school and college, he was at my first musical performance and everything in between.
I am now 26 years old and I am headed on the biggest journey of my life, the Peace Corps. I have learned so many things from Mr. Comer over the years but the main thing was having a good heart and helping people. That is something that has stuck with me the most over the years.
During my time with Mr. Comer, I have changed so much. I am more confident then I was before I met him. I went from being this shy kid to being an actor in many plays, directing, serving on various boards, leading teams on major projects, initiating three winter wish list programs while in college and many more things. I could not have asked for a better person to be placed in to my life and I can only hope that one day I can become someone’s amazing mentor just as Mr. Comer is mine.
I would like to publicly thank Mr. Comer and his family for opening their hearts and welcoming me into their family. He has done so much for me over years, providing me with wisdom, encouragement, advice, and guidance. His caring and compassion has opened up doors for me that I never knew would open. If it were not for VIP Mentoring, I would not have had to opportunity to meet my mentor, Mr. Comer.