Leon County Schools is continuously on the hunt for individuals who would like to make a change for the better in young adults’ lives.
The process of becoming a mentor or volunteer is easy. It just involves completing a form that will lead to a background check and a few other steps.
The district volunteer coordinator of Leon County Schools, Kelli Walker, said, “We are looking for the willingness to be able to work with youth and devote their time to them. We like for mentors to work on a weekly basis and volunteers have the option to do a one-time opportunity with youth. People that are reliable and dependable are our main focus.”
Because there are so many students here in Tallahassee, there can never be enough help with pushing those students forward.
“Last school year we had over 16,600 volunteers and 1,155 mentors and we really appreciate their service to our schools and to our students. They really make a tremendous difference. You can’t put a price tag on someone giving their time, talent and resources to work with our students,” said Walker.
Based on the rave reviews from students who have had the experience of working with a mentor or coming in contact with a volunteer, their presence is definitely positive.
“A mentor’s job description is to reduce the potential of a student drop-out. I like to sign up the ninth-graders with a mentor that will continue with them until graduation if possible. I want the mentor to be an advocate for the student, a role model, and prove that they’re a leader. A dependable mentor is a great mentor. We’re here to make that student grow and be positive in their lives," said Jacquelyn Henderson, the director of mentors at Rickard’s High School.
Students have the opportunity to change lives and receive a different outlook on their own life. Usually the students who are placed with mentors or volunteers come from similar backgrounds and that helps make the relationship stronger.
Jasmine Reid, a former mentor, said, “It’s crazy how much me and my mentee were alike. We practically lived the same lives, but just made a few different decisions. When we first met, she was closed and quiet; didn’t really want to talk to me. But after telling her about myself; all the struggles and how I barely graduated high school, she was basically became my best friend. Her opening up allowed me to gain her trust and lead her down the best path possible.”