Written By: Robin Reid
Think back to your childhood and a time when you were struggling either at school or home. Did you have an adult you trusted, could talk to, and who encouraged you to not give up? If so, you were blessed.
However, many of our kids today in Morgan County don’t have a positive role model to help them cope with daily difficulties or trauma such as parental addiction, abuse, mental illness, and more.
“We have seen an increase in students who have Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which impact how they perform at school, both academically and behaviorally,” said Monrovia Middle School Principal Rebecca McPherson. “Our school was looking for a way to increase the number of positive adult interactions that our students have. Partnering with the Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) and implementing the mentoring program seemed like the best way to meet our students’ needs.”
CFMC understands that students experiencing trauma outside of school is a real problem in Morgan County. Since 2017, we’ve been working with local schools to implement mentoring programs. CFMC believes every child deserves a chance to be successful in life, no matter their circumstance.
According to McPherson, the mentoring program started in January of this year. There are 12 mentors who work with two to three students. “If we can get more volunteers, we can either decrease the number of students in each group or add more students who are currently not working with a mentor,” she added. “The one negative feedback we received was that 30 minutes is not long enough. We now have the majority of mentors meeting with students once a week, instead of every other week.”
Currently, the mentoring program is open to eighth-grade students. McPherson said the eighth grade can be a difficult transition time for students as they are making course decisions that have a direct effect on their life after high school.
“The students really look forward to meeting with their mentor and appreciate knowing that someone will be there for them on a consistent basis. When a child knows that someone is taking time to check on them or is concerned for them, they begin to understand their own value and worth, which positively impacts not only their life at school but outside as well,” said McPherson.
CFMC has identified real solutions by implementing a mentoring program locally, such as Monrovia Middle School. Become a CFMC School Mentor. The time you invest in a student’s life will help them change for the better by putting them on a path towards success.