Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate is looking for new volunteer mentors. 1 New Mentor = 1 More Student Goes to College.


I hope all of you reading this intuitively understand the value of mentorship.  Ask OP editor Molly DeMarco if you want 1sthand experience of what it takes, but ask Graig if you want to know the value.  BRMA takes kids that society writes off -- low income, little family support are the types of criteria he uses -- and shows them what opportunities there can be with the right path in their life.  These kids, who otherwise fail in our society every day, are succeeding through this program -- 99+% going to college. They just need more mentors willing to spend a little time with kids.  You don't have to tutor.  You don't have to have a perfect life.  You just need to care.  And have high expectations.  We live in a world that has an expectation gap for many minority students.  BRMA is turning that around and seeing the results.So, the question is -- is Graig looking for me?  Personally, I'm sad to say the answer is no.  Graig has told me that parents of school aged children often have a very hard time keeping up with the couple of extra hours each week -- our own kids need us.  Maybe if I lose the school board race, I'll hear from Graig on Nov 9th, but he understands this isn't the right time for me.  HOWEVER -- that means he needs somebody else to step up.  Or more than one somebody because the only limit he has on how many students he can reach is the number of mentors.  Young people without kids are great -- they have energy and time to do exciting things with mentees (although Molly learned a candidate meet and greet isn't the best choice for Friday evening).  However, even better are empty nesters.  The people who have some life experiences to draw from and share.  Who understand the bigger picture and are maybe a little more settled.  Regardless of your life situation, you should visit the website  There's plenty of details there.  And if you have an inkling of interest, sign up for more information or reach out to Graig.  He's not scary.  And he's not asking you to jump blindly into a two year commitment.  He'll talk with you if you have questions and make sure you get the right fit in a mentee.  Even if you fill out an application, you're not committed yet.  BRMA does training sessions twice a year, so if now is not the right time for you, let Graig know you want to consider the March cycle.  There's a lot of support for mentors to make this work; they just need YOU.

This is such a great program, I've always wished I had time to participate. (I should have done it before I had my own young one to mentor.)


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