Mentoring Spotlight: Ms. Douglas County


Hello Nebraska! It is truly a privilege to kick off National Mentoring Month with the first blog post of the new year for MENTOR Nebraska! I personally cannot believe it is 2024, but here we are!

My name is Raechel Warren, and I am currently serving as your Miss Douglas County 2024 in the Miss America Organization. This June, I will represent the greater Omaha-Metro at Miss Nebraska and champion a cause that has shaped my life and can be life-changing for young people - youth mentorship.

I’m thrilled to have an opportunity each month to share with you why I am so passionate about mentorship, encourage you in how you can get involved in mentorship opportunities, and share personal testimonies of impactful mentorship.

Mentoring and being a mentor isn’t just something you do or a title you have. Mentoring is all about relationships. It’s supporting and providing guidance to someone, encouraging and building them up, it’s serving them and being their biggest cheerleader. Everyone has something to offer! There is no ‘ideal’ cookie cutter mentor and I truly believe that any one of us can make a difference in the life of a young person, just like a difference was made in mine.

I want to kick things off by sharing my story so you can get a sense for why I believe investing in our young people is so important.

Growing up, I was blessed with a full life of activities and an extremely supportive family. I was involved in multiple sports, band and other musical activities. Artistic roller skating and soccer were my primary sports (yes, roller skating!) Whatever the adventure, there were many people pouring into my life.

I went onto play collegiate soccer but just a short time into my sophomore season, I obtained a career-ending injury. As I laid in bed with a cast on my leg, away from my family and friends, contemplating what my future would look like without soccer, and potentially roller skating, the two sports that shaped my identity I was forced to think about what other skill sets I had. And then it hit me - half the reason I would miss these activities weren’t because of the activity themselves, but because of the people. My teammates, the coaches, the teachers - all the individuals who took the time to make me better every single day.

It wasn’t long after that a high school friend encouraged me to run for the local Miss America program in my hometown. Required to choose a personal platform, I knew that I wanted to give back and be the light in a young person’s life that those mentors had been to me. Through countless interactions at the roller rink, observing the deterioration of after school activities and vocational programs, I witnessed the difference that one smile, one act of encouragement could make. I saw firsthand how not every child was afforded the same support systems that I had grown up with, but that if they had that one person to stand beside them, things might be different. I recognized the urgent need for these relationships, so in 2016, Passion to Purpose was born. Almost 10 years later, I am still championing the importance of finding your passion, discovering community, and developing mentoring relationships that will be life-changing.

Through organizations like MENTOR Nebraska, whose mission is to connect mentors to mentees, advocate for and increase awareness for the importance of mentorship, YOU have the resources at your fingertips to make a difference in your community! The role of a mentor cannot be understated, and it is my hope that you will feel inspired to be the light in a young person’s life, no matter what that looks like.

Happy National Mentoring Month!

Till next month,


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