TM History

History of Talbot Mentors

In 1997, retired Talbot County, citizen Phil Kirby decided to create a local infrastructure through which caring adults would be matched with youth for long-term supportive relationships.

A 35-year-old man approached Phil Kirby at an event and said, “Thank you.” Kirby had no idea who this man was and asked why he was thanking him. The man said, “Twenty years ago, you spent 15 minutes with me, just talking to me and giving me some advice, and that’s what changed my life.”

This served as the catalyst and concept for the founding of Talbot Mentors in 1997. That one “thank-you” exemplifies the Talbot Mentors mission — those small, sometimes seemingly insignificant things that an adult may do that can make a difference in a child’s life.

Kirby passed away in 2000, never seeing the growth of the organization. Before then, Talbot Mentors was run by volunteers, with little support for the mentoring matches. However, Kirby laid the foundation for subsequent development and, prior to his death, set in motion the hiring of Nancy Andrew as the first employee.

Nancy Andrew was the first Executive Director and Natalie Costanzo is the fourth. Talbot Mentors now has three staff and a board of at least 12.

TM’s initial purpose stated in the Articles of Incorporation was “To help students become good and responsible citizens, with a sense of values and standards, prepared for work and citizenship in the 21st century.”

Nineteen years later, Talbot Mentors, Inc. has created a strong network of support that spans generations, socioeconomic levels and cultures. We support the self-awareness, self-confidence and growth of our most vulnerable children, and connect them to our larger community.