The Magic of Mike and Jadon

Like every true match, trust must be given a chance to build naturally. With Mike Hinrichs and Jadon Gbetanou, it did. They met at St. James Grade School through the TeamMates Mentoring program, and there were some reservations at first. Their age difference was clear, and because of that, they weren’t sure how to navigate their relationship as mentor and mentee. As they grew to know each other, their bond grew along with it. Mike asked Jadon one simple question, “Why are you interested in TeamMates,” to which Jadon responded, “I think it is good to meet other people.” From that moment on, they knew those initial doubts were no longer going to linger within their relationship, no longer going to be an issue.

Over the next nine years, Mike got the chance to witness Jadon transform from a reserved fourth grader to a mature, confident senior at Creighton Prep. They found many common interests between each other such as investment opportunities, and mainly, sports. It became a concentrated topic of conversation, and they greatly enjoyed attending the TeamMates outings at Creighton basketball games together. Their conversation has grown and changed with them over the years, and they became fond of their weekly check-ins with each other. Luckily, during the peak of the Covid shutdown, they were still able to maintain their relationship through Zoom.

“I have learned a lot throughout these years with Mike, and I would definitely say that he is one of the people in my life that has shaped me into the man I am today.”


While at Creighton Prep, Jadon has been an Honor Roll student and has been involved in various school organizations, proving to be an upstanding member of his community. According to his mentor, Mike, Jadon is a structured, focused young man, and he has been accepted into several colleges for this upcoming fall semester to major in business.

Mike shared, “He has many leadership qualities and is very respected by his classmates and teachers. I have no doubt he will be very successful in his future endeavors.”

At TeamMates, we partner with over 30 post-secondary institutions to assist with scholarship opportunities for students just like Jadon. Jadon was the well-deserved recipient of one of our largest scholarships, the Creighton University TeamMates Markoe Scholarship, providing him with $30,000/year. Mike had the honor of announcing this achievement on Jadon’s behalf, and it was clear to all that he was very proud while doing so.