School mentors are honored for service

School mentors are honored for service

WARREN — Twelve area men who have served as mentors to Warren City Schools students were recognized for at a recent dinner at the Hippodrome for their participation in the Men of Distinction program at Jefferson PK-8 School.

Eleanna Vlahos-Hall, Jefferson school counselor, said the program pairs a mentor from the community with a student one day each week. She said the program was made possible through a $2,000 grant from the Turning Foundation.

Malik Goliday, an eighth-grader, said his mentor, Miles Johnson, has helped him better focus on school work. Goliday said he has also learned special skills in chess and boxing.

“I want the students to be able to overcome life’s obstacles,” said Johnson, a community organizer with Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

In addition, Goliday was selected by Veterans Haven to be presented a bike.

Veteran’s Haven is an outreach center at Riverview Apartments with a transitional housing program that serves homeless veterans.

Brandi Parker, program manager at Veterans Haven, said participants in the mentoring program have reached out to veterans at the organization as a community service project.

“They are the only youth group who has done this. They have helped over 16 veterans,” she said.

The Men of Distinction participants collected food, clothing and personal hygiene items for veterans.

Jefferson 6-8 Principal Josh Guthrie said it was rewarding to see the success of the mentoring program.

“There was a need for the program. The students learned a lot from their mentors,” he said.

Dennis Lemon, work supervisor at TCI, said he was impressed by the students and the strides they made from participation in the program.

Deonte White, seventh- grader, said his mentor, Luther Stubbs, helped him to do better in school and to have a different attitude.

Johnson, co-creator of Chess is Life, said hopes the student he mentors walk away from the experience with a better understanding of the power each has over his own life.

“No matter what circumstances you’re born into or that you get into in life, you have the power to overcome your circumstances and lead a good, productive life, to shape your own destiny,” Johnson said.

Vlahos-Hall said topics discussed included grades, school behavior and peer pressure.

Vlahos-Hall said counselors check in on program participants to ensure positive .

Several in-school gatherings are being planned by the mentoring group, including an end-of-year trip to see the Cleveland Indians.

COMMENTS