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Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) and its Community-Based Mentoring Program celebrates National Mentoring Month

GCPS is spotlighting community-based mentoring and intends to increase the number of quality mentoring opportunities in order to connect more young people with caring adults.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) and its Community-Based Mentoring Program celebrates National Mentoring Month during the month of January

Currently, GCPS has mentoring programs that connect potential community mentors with African-American and Hispanic male and female students in grades 4 through 12. These programs provide guidance, encouragement, and support helping the students become successful young adults, both in and out of school.

“Mentors play a critical role in the lives of many of our students.” says James Rayford, director of the Community-Based Mentoring Program’s African-American priority. “They are role models that provide valuable advice and insight in an effort to help young people navigate through confusing and turbulent times. Mentoring is proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for our young people.”

Studies show mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behaviors. In turn, these young people are:

• 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
• 81% more likely to report participating in sports or extracurricular activities.
• 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
• More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

Research also shows that 9 million young people in the United States will grow up without a mentor. “A mentor is like a madrina or padrino for our kids,” said Nury Crawford, director of the Community-Based Mentoring Program’s Hispanic priority. “Like in a family, mentors guide, lead, but most of all they listen and care.”

Gwinnett’s Community-Based mentors are 21 years of age or older. Interested individuals are asked to attend a Volunteer Mentor Training Session. Once a person determines they want to become a mentor and can commit to a minimum of one year as a mentor, the person completes a background check and the mentor application. The program will then provide training and match the mentor to a student. Interested in becoming a mentor? Call 770-682-8086.