Meet the Mentors – Justin and Ruth McKeown

May 21, 2024  •  Author: marketing

The Importance of a Mentor

Each week, we see how important a mentor’s role is in a student’s life. Our mentors have hope in the youth and their capabilities to change their circumstances. They see things that students do not see in themselves – we all need someone like this in our lives. Even the greatest in their careers share this vision. American actress and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

The couple in a one-on-one session with a student.

Justin and Ruth McKeown, the mentors of this week, have expanded our students’ hope in themselves. “They are an example of humility and experience,” says one of our Brazilian students, Giovanna. “They helped me to understand how to be successful in my endeavors while valuing and cultivating my personal beliefs, dreams, and hopes for the future.” As we learn more about Justin and Ruth and their life achievements, we’ll gain a glimpse of what Giovanna and others felt.

From Britain with Love

The United Kingdom is the home of our mentors. Ruth was born in England and moved to Scotland when she was a teenager. Justin was born in London. He graduated in Corporate Communications and Psychology in Leeds, England. Justin spent years working in the world’s largest independent communications consultancy. Ruth studied at the University of Dundee, Scotland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching and taught in schools in Scotland and England. In 2011, Justin and Ruth started a company together called Mission Group. The couple lives in Almondbury, West Yorkshire, in England.

Justin and Ruth teaching in a Leadership Class.

One important aspect that connects the couple is their love for connecting with different cultures, people, and training others. Justin and Ruth said that they had never been to a country or place without making a connection with another person. This love for people and their stories was a motivating factor that inspired them to join our program. The couple has a curious story about how they heard about Cumorah Academy. “There was a gentleman, an Area Seventy, Elder Martin Turvey, who came to our stake a couple of years ago. He sent us an email and urged us to sign up. We are happy to be here now! It’s been perfect,” says the couple.

“They’re Like Guiding Lights”

As we can see, the McKeowns are fascinated by leadership, training, and motivating others. In describing their business, the love the couple has for teaching and inspiring others is visible: “The simplest words that we could say are that we do leadership and team development. We love getting people to connect with their possibilities and unlock their potential. That can be at any level in an organization.”

Such a love for connecting with others was also spread to our students. In one week, our students could feel this love. “Justin and Ruth, our mentors, embody the essence of positive leadership. They’re like guiding lights, sharing their wisdom and motivating us with their insightful teachings,” shares Michelle, our student from El Salvador. Indeed, Justin and Ruth were guiding lights for these students. Many students decide to join Cumorah Academy looking for hope in all aspects of their lives. They seek to learn a language, start a business, and connect with others – they seek shelter from the storms of life. And yes, mentors like them are guiding lights for anyone looking for a light to rely on.

Even with all these compliments, Justin and Ruth are modest in their efforts. When asked what they hope students learn, they said, “What would we want students at Cumorah to know? Well, they may learn nothing new. But we would want them to feel more powerfully their personal worth as children of God; the potential that they have if they will guide them. Being willing to listen as He adjusts the sails.”

As we learned more about their lives, we might agree with Oprah Winfrey. A mentor is someone who makes us see hope in ourselves. And thanks to Justin and Ruth McKeown, our students have found hope in themselves.

Justin and Ruth shared their words about their experience on campus:

Written by Fernando L. Ferreira Jr.

Photos by Camila Caraveo

Supervision by Kamila Uberto Fullmer

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