Mentoring Makes A Difference is an after-school program in the Rolla School District. The program currently has 66 students matched with young adult mentors. Most of these mentors are from the University of Missouri Science & Technology.
Thanks to a grant provided by the TKD Foundation, Mentoring Makes A Difference was able to expand to the Jr. High! The Jr. High program utilizes mature adults from the Rolla community to increase benefits of mentoring in 7th and 8th grade students.
Students are referred in a variety of ways including by counselors, teachers, and parents. Services provided are both academic and social. Research has shown that students enrolled in mentoring programs are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illicit drugs. They are also 55% more likely to enroll in college.
This is not a one-sided relationship. Mentors gain just as much as the mentees. The mentors gain a connection to the Rolla community as well as to their mentee. Many do not know who learns more during the year.
Some Mentors Have Said
“…watching her perform better each year as a student makes my time volunteering worth more than I ever could have imagined.” –Mckenzie Scott
“As much as they enjoy it, mentors too have a great time getting away from everyday life and being a kid for a little bit.” –Bradley Bales
“My mentee reminds me to look at life in a less serious perspective.” –Nina Govella
“You get to show them that with their own mind and time they can do just about anything. This is something I hope they carry with them after leaving the program, and for the rest of their life.” –Mason Donnell