Bristol Board of Education Mentor Program
Making a Difference One Hour at a Time
The Bristol Board of Education mentoring program was founded by Fred Soliani and the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. Through the support of our community, the Board of Education, and the Chamber of Commerce the program has developed into one of the top programs in the state. We currently have over 200 mentors from all walks of life who go into our schools for one hour every week and provide our students with a one-on-one relationship that builds their self esteem, reawakens their drive to achieve, provides a positive role model and rekindles hope.
We are always in need of new mentors, especially male mentors. We have many more students, on the brink of success who can benefit greatly by having a mentor come into their lives. How many times have you asked, “"I’’d like to help a child but I don’’t know what to do, or said, “"I don’’t have the time, I don’’t have anything to offer, I can’’t afford it.”" The mentoring program is the perfect fit. It is a one hour per week commitment during the school year; it requires no special skills or financial obligation. Training, a background check and support is provided by the program director. Mentors can choose the school, grade level and gender of the student they would like to work with. Times are changing. We cannot assume all young people have an adult who can provide them with good advice, help with schoolwork or just give them a pat on the back. The question becomes “"Are we going to sit back and complain about the problem and its outcomes or are we going to be pro-active and do something about it”"? It’’s easy to tell a young person to say no to drugs or gangs, but the important part is proving to them there is an alternative that is so much better. It has been documented that mentoring is the most effective program in helping our youth succeed and choose a better path in life. Mentoring allows us to see the potential in a child and encourage them to develop that potential. A smile, a word of encouragement, a listening ear is sometimes all it takes to motivate a student.
Mentors are important. Very few people make it in this world without the guidance and support that comes from some type of mentorship. Nobody makes it alone. Mentoring allows part of us to be woven into the fabric of our community by giving the best parts of ourselves to those around us, by serving as a role model, guide, or friend. Our individual success belongs to the whole community who supported us as we pursued our goals. Thomas Dortch sums it best as he wrote, “"We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and that it is our duty to support those who come after.”"
Please consider volunteering in our schools as a mentor. I would be happy to meet and discuss the program with you. Together we can make a difference one hour at a time.
For more information, please contact Jeanine Audette at the Bristol Board of Education at 860-584-7043 or firstname.lastname@example.org