Mind, Body and Soul salutes participants

WARREN – Mentors and students in the Mind, Body and Soul Hoops for Homework program were saluted for their efforts and received words of encouragement from two individuals who took part in the program.

Catrina Carlson, a 2014 graduate of Harding High School, and Glenn Williamson, a 2013 Harding High School graduate and a Youngstown State University student, shared their testimonies during the awards event at NorthMar Church where the Hoops for Homework program is held.

Troy Woods, director, said the program started seven years ago and is held once a week during the school year for Warren City School children.

Mentors provide tutoring to the students.

“The goal is to improve academics and character development and build relationships,” Woods said.

He said the program had 35 students and 20 mentors.

“We had 10 students who were on their school honor rolls this year,” he sad.

For the final day, First Book of Trumbull County provided books for the children.

Williamson said Mind, Body and Soul played a big part of his life.

“To be part of this program was the best decision I ever made,” Williamson said, noting that Mind, Body and Soul helped him during difficult times in his life.

Carlson said she is amazed how she was part of the program for seven years and now helps as a tutor, seeing how the younger students are growing.

“Seven years ago we were just starting out. When it comes down to it this is family. I will be attending YSU, but I will be back here every Tuesday to help be a mentor,” Carlson said.

She said without the program and the help she received, she didn’t know where she would be.

“I appreciate what was done for me and what is being done to help others,” she said

Woods said it is always amazing to see our former students now as adults come back and share their stories.

“That says a lot,” he said.

Williamson said it takes a village to raise a child and the NorthMar family and tutors help do this.

Pastor Paul Armitage of NorthMar Church said the success of the program is about building consistent relationships.

“The success of this program is the adults showing up for the kids and caring about them,” Armitage said of the mentors.

He also praised the students for staying with the program.