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.
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.