It takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child.

By sharing fun activities and exposing a child to new experiences, mentors encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, support academic achievement and introduce their mentee to new ideas.
Clarke County Mentor Program
  October 2012 Newsletter
 

Meet Lorena and Juli

Julianne Bierwirth, a UGA graduate student in Food Science, is extremely busy with her research on anti-oxidants in blueberries and pecans. You might imagine that on Friday evenings she is relaxing at home or going out with friends, but instead, she is taking her mentee Lorena to a weekly trapeze class at Canopy Studios. In their first few months as mentor and mentee, they toured Juli's lab, and took in the Titanic and Bodies exhibits in Atlanta. They also ate lunch at Cedar Shoals High School, had a chemistry tutoring session, and just talked. Lorena says "We study and do a lot of different activities. Juli is fun and outgoing, and she has taught me to take responsibility for my actions, be more outgoing and try new things."

There are as many different ways to mentor as there are mentors; not all of us are as turbo-charged as Juli. Our youth are looking for an adult who takes a special interest in them, and shows up consistently to listen and encourage.

Fall Mentor Trainings

  • Tuesday, October 9
  • Tuesday, November 13

Above trainings held at Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, 6:00-8:00 PM

  • Wednesday, October 17    7:00-9:00 PM, Alpha Delta Pi, UGA
    (no Notary present)

Lions and Tigers and Bears ... Oh My!

Would you and your mentee like to attend Athens Creative Theatre's performance of The Wizard of Oz at the Morton Theatre on Sunday, October 14, at 2:00? The Mentor Program has a block of tickets. After the show, we will walk around the corner to Yoforia; the show and refreshments are CCMP's treat. Call or email us TODAY.

How Children Succeed

On October 1, Paul Tough spoke at UGA about his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Tough suggests that traditional cognitive skills, while important in children's successes, do not tell the whole story.

There are important non-cognitive skills--think of them as character--that have a profound effect on children's futures. How can children develop these skills? Tough believes the key is interpersonal relationships, such as that between a mentor and mentee or a parent and child. In each case, an adult cares about and understands a younger person, encouraging him or her to control behavior and persevere in the face of challenges.

Forever Young

Forever Young, our affiliated UGA student organization, is making great strides! They staffed displays and signed up new mentors at both the UGA Fall Activities Fair and the Athens Volunteer Fair, and hosted a mentor training at UGA's Creswell Hall. They have received a grant from VolunteerUGA to fund "buckets" -- containing activity materials and suggestions for mentor-mentee pairs -- for each school in the Clarke County School District.

FY is planning an afternoon at Memorial Park (zoo tour and playground games) for interested mentors and mentees on Sunday, Oct. 21, beginning at 2:00 PM. For more information and to RSVP, contact UGAForeverYoung@gmail.com .

Meet Quindarious and Joe

Note: This article originally appeared in our September newsletter, but some recipients received garbled versions. We think it is worth reprinting!

Quindarious enjoys having a mentor to talk to about any subject he can think of. He doesn't mind that the Tuesday morning talks come at the expense of his French class. The mentor, Joe VanHoose, gladly gives up an hour at work to make the drive from downtown Athens to Hilsman Middle School. Just as Quin was looking for someone to talk to, Joe decided to make a difference in a young man's life. "I had so many positive adult influences on my life when I was Quin's age," Joe says. "I wanted to pay that wisdom I received forward."

Joe and Quin have met regularly since April, and the conversations are always a two-way street. So are the benefits. "Joe always brightens my day," said Quin, who just started the eighth grade. "He's taught me a lot of valuable lessons, and I know I've taught him a lot of things, too." Joe has received everything from video game tips to dating advice from Quin. The creativity between the duo may produce a great book one day. The positive outlook on life is contagious, too.

"It's just great to be around someone who has such a bright view of their future," Joe says of Quin. "It's always one of the best hours of my week." And that's a bit of a surprise. While Joe may have signed up for the Clarke County Mentor Program because of blind conviction - a mentor stopped by his office one day and sold him on the idea - he now plans to stay in the program as long as he's in the Classic City. "The experience has been nothing but rewarding," he said. "If you've ever thought about becoming a mentor, go for it."

 
   

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The Adsmith
The Annexstad Family Foundation
Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
Athens Regional Health System
Bell’s Food Stores
Ed Benson
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Fire and Flavor
Frances Wood Wilson Foundation
Georgia Power Foundation

Jackson EMC Foundation
Junior League of Athens
Kaiser Permanente
Kroger Foundation
The Newland Family Foundation
Publix Super Markets Charities
Sentry Self Storage
St. Mary’s Heath Care System
Trinity Accounting Group
Walton EMC Foundation
Wells Fargo

Athens First Bank & Trust Co.
Athens Social Media
Ron & Lisa Brill Charitable Trust
Carson Advisory Inc.
Charles J. Carter, D.D.S.
Cook, Noell, Tolley & Bates LLP

Doherty, Duggan & Rouse
Flory/ Stabb Family
Heyward Allen Cadillac Buick
GMC Toyota Scion
Jackson Spalding
Sam’s Club


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  Clarke County Mentor Program

Quick Facts

Our program recruits and trains volunteers to serve as mentors to students in all of our public schools, K-12 grade. They function primarily as friends. We ask for a minimum of one hour per week for one school year, with the opportunity to continue for multiple years.