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Timothy Richardson, CEO

It all started when...

Ties for change is close to my heart because it makes me think about every son out there that didn’t have a father growing up. The premise for Ties of Change organically manifested from when I was younger. My Father past suddenly from a heart attack which left me to mature at a young age. My view of life changed and it became more apparent to me that our time is limited and we need to leave our legacy on this earth through God. One day I had an award ceremony at my school when I was 10 years old. Each child around me was able to run to their dad who then adjusted their dress clothes to make them presentable. Coming from a single parent home my mother was not able to make it due to a heavy work schedule. I had no one, and I didn’t know how to properly fix a tie. After that day I was motivated to acquire that skill so that I would no longer have to be a step behind. I did my research and found the nearest Men’s Wear House and rode my bike 10 miles to the store. Sweating, and a tie in my hand I held it up to the closet store associate and politely asked “Please teach me how to tie this”. The gentleman pondered for a second and then proceeded to ask me “Where’s your parents”. I then replied “My mother is at work and my father died when I was younger”. I can tell by the look in his eyes he didn’t want to show sympathy to such a determined, young adolescent so he smiled and walked me toward the mirror. We practiced for an hour, going over the small triangle, and he even showed me how to double it so that it appeared bigger. Which ended up becoming my favorite style because that’s how I tie all of my ties to this present day.

I’m a newly celebrated college graduate from the University of Miami. I’m also an African American male that beat statistics. First person to go to college in my family without a lack of post high school education knowledge in my household; Avoided the streets and incarnation by keeping my head in books and my feet on the track, which eventually led to a track and field scholarship; graduated from a private school and now on my way to graduate school. That is why I feel it is my purpose to help others, to let them know how great they can be. Less and less young men are graduating from post secondary institutions and it is it not because of lack of aptitude or ability, it is because of lack of support and guidance.
Ties for change was created with the goal to put as many young men through high school and college as possible. This program is a comprehensive, hands on learning experience that will make ostensibly out of reach goals more feasible. I never thought a young man coming from a small neighborhood would end up earning a degree from one of the top Educational Institutions in the nation. I feel everybody possesses the gift of perseverance and I want to help as many people as I can unlock that gift.  

        -Timothy M Richardson





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What is the purpose of the program?

The Ties For Change Program is designed to give your child an opportunity to acquire invaluable interpersonal and professional skills that will further help them advance towards earning a job of their interest. Through these relationships, as well as recreational and group activities, mentors provide friendship, support, and guidance to your child. The mentors are there to act as a positive role model and confidant. 

Can my child be tutored by his or her mentor?

The Ties For Change mentoring program is not a tutoring program. While sometimes pairs decide together to work on school work, this is not a requirement for the mentors. There are many other programs that focus on tutoring if you feel that your child needs academic support. The Ties For Change mentoring program focuses on fostering lasting and meaningful relationships between the mentor and mentee rather than concentrating just on academics.

What about transportation?

It is the responsibility of each mentor-mentee pair to decide on a transportation plan that will work for them. Please be aware that some mentors may not have means of transportation. If the mentor does have a car and is willing to drive your child, you will need to fill out a waiver form. If the mentor does not have a car and you cannot help with the transportation of your child, we often recommend that the mentor and mentee try to meet at a location that would be a midpoint and convenient for both.

Who are the mentors and why do they want to be a part of the program?

Mentors who are chosen for the Ties For Change Mentoring program are from a variety of different backgrounds. They have been interviewed, trained, had their references checked, and carefully matched with each child. Mentors have a variety of motivations for getting involved with the program. However, all mentors want to be a positive role model in a child’s life.

When will my child meet with their mentor? What kinds of activities will they do together?

Meetings will be at a day and time convenient to you, your child, and the mentor. There is no scheduled location or activity for the meetings. Rather, mentors will call your child to set up plans for the week. Activities range from going to the library, to seeing movies, or going on hikes together. All activities are agreed upon by you, your child, and the mentor. 

What should I do if my child cannot attend a meeting or event with their mentor?

Have your child call his or her mentor and reschedule the meeting to a time that is more convenient. Be sure to keep the phone numbers of the mentor handy so that you or your child can call them when needed. If you cannot reach the mentor, please Ties For Change at (407) 963-2679 and leave a message for the Ties For Change program. 

What if family plans conflict with a meeting?

The mentor should compliment or add to family opportunities. Time with the mentor is not intended to displace time with the family. You should continue your normal family plans. The mentor and your child should plan their time together around your family’s normal schedule as much as possible. It may help to let your child and their mentor know about planned family events in advance to help avoid conflicts.

Can other family members or I go with my child and the mentor?

A mentoring relationship is special in part because it is a one-on-one relationship. Even teens that feel very close to their parents sometimes need to talk with friends outside of the family. The mentor is an adult friend with whom your child can talk about things that concern him or her. Please respect their private time together. Moreover, mentors are not baby-sitters and cannot be responsible for anyone except their mentee.

The mentor and your child will inform you about their plans each week. If at any time you are uncomfortable with their plans, please let us know. Mentors will be sensitive to you parental concerns and will try to find an arrangement that is acceptable to you.

How can I be sure that the mentor will support my rules and regulations?

In the beginning, talk to the mentor about any rules or regulations that you expect to arise in his or her relationship with your child. If you have strict rules about curfew, activities in which your child may not participate, etc. then please discuss these with the mentor. By making this information known at the beginning, you can help avoid misunderstandings later.

What if the mentor says things with which I do not agree?

No matter how carefully we match mentors and mentees, you may find that some areas of your beliefs and ideas differ with those of the mentor’s. If there are important issues to you, please let the mentor know. You can request that the mentor NOT question your most important beliefs or values when with your child.

Who will pay for activities of the mentor and my child?

Mentors and mentees always pay for their own expenses. If there is a cost for an activity, then you or your child will be responsible for the youth’s fair share. We also provide the mentors with many low-cost or no-cost activity suggestions. As with any friend, mentors may treat your child occasionally, but it should not be expected on a regular basis.

How often should I be in contact with the mentor and how much should I say about family problems/concerns?

Get to know the mentor well enough to feel comfortable with him or her being with your child.  Before each meeting, please discuss the plans and times for returning home. Try talking directly to the mentor about your concerns, but please avoid talking to the mentor about your child in front of your child. If there is something the mentor should really know, then call them when your child is not around.

What if there are concerns or questions I don’t want to discuss with the mentor?

Please feel free to contact Nasseeka S. Denis (407) 781-7946 or Timothy Richardson by phone at (407) 963-2679 or email at tiesforchange.tfc@gmail.com. They are here to make the Ties For Change program work for students, mentors, and parents. A Ties For Change member will call you intermittently to see how things are going. But don’t wait for them to call! We would like to know about anything that concerns you as soon as possible.