Dr. Anthony Pizzo, Hillsborough Education Foundation’s 2021 Mentor of the Year, and his mentee, Caliph.

It takes a special person to dedicate one’s life towards developing a bond with someone while portraying specific qualities such as commitment and caring for the well-being of that individual. These certain characteristics describe Dr. Anthony Pizzo, who won Hillsborough Education Foundation’s 2021 Mentor of the Year.

Through Hillsborough Education Foundation’s Take Stock in Children program, it provides a mentor devoted to supporting a student’s future and academic success and much more. The mentors there also serve as trustworthy role models, giving emotional support and guidance in each student’s life.

For the past five years, Dr. Pizzo was paired up with Caliph, who graduated from East Bay High School’s class of 2021. Dr. Pizzo began mentoring Caliph when he was in the eighth grade and remained by his side even through some of the challenges that Caliph once faced but overcame.

“Navigating these obstacles as a team has formed a bond between us and hopefully has given him a model to find success in the future,” Dr. Pizzo said.

Caliph mentioned how Dr. Pizzo inspired him to become a better version of himself.

“Pizzo is an excellent role model,” Caliph said. “I hope that one day I can inspire someone to do something great as Pizzo has done for me.”

Dr. Pizzo got involved with becoming a mentor at the Hillsborough Education Foundation through the recommendation of his childhood friend. He considers being a good listener as the key to a quality mentor. He stated that mentoring Caliph has given him a new appreciation and insight into a much younger generation, which differed from his own.

“I hold pride in knowing that my mentor won the Hillsborough Education Foundation’s 2021 Mentor of the Year,” Caliph said. “Not only is Pizzo my mentor, but also my friend,” he added.

This upcoming school year, Hillsborough Education Foundation is looking for mentors. People who are interested in giving the gift of their time and volunteering to mentor can visit educationfoundation.com/mentor-a-student to sign up.

For more information, visit https://educationfoundation.com.

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.