An organization in Jackson County, Georgia, is trying to help students find meaningful relationships outside of their homes. Legacy Youth Mentoring partners, a friendship-based, in-school, youth mentoring program partners with Jackson County, the city of Jefferson and Commerce City School systems to provide mentorship to children in need.
Right now there are 212 mentors working with the program, but more are needed. Currently more than 100 kids are on the waiting list to receive mentors.
Lisa Stephens says mentors provide children with mental and emotional development.
Stephens described one student’s experience with the program.
All mentorship provided is one-on-one and for 30 minutes per week. Mentors are paired with students from one of the school systems, and the mentor chooses the age of student they are most comfortable with, either a younger elementary, older elementary, middle or high school-aged student. Mentors are also able to pick the school.
One of the main goals of the program is to build a friendship between mentors and mentees. Mentorship sessions are designed with the specific student’s needs in mind; this means finding out the child’s interests and planning events around them.
New mentors are required to attend a training session before they can start mentoring. Toni Senory, a horticulturist from Athens, attended a training on Oct. 30.
There are some requirements to be a mentor, mentors must be at least 18, attend a training session and pass a criminal background check.
If you would like to become a mentor or learn more about the mentorship requirements, visit this link.
Karly Reece is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Reece is also pursuing a minor in sport management and a certificate from the New Media Institute.
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