me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone
who didn’t want for positive influences in his or her
life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if
you do it well I’m betting there was someone cheering
you on and showing you the way.” These words from Denzel
Washington’s bestselling book A Hand to Guide Me illustrate
the special opportunity mentors have to make a significant
difference in a young person’s life. The 47 adult mentors
and 60 youth who participate in Moab’s Grand Area Mentoring
(GrandAM) can attest to the difference mentoring makes.
With federal funding and program direction from Dan McNeil,
the Grand County School District created the program in September
2005. GrandAM matches carefully-screened adult volunteers (mentors)
with youth (mentees) in a school environment. Building a positive,
new friendship helps to strengthen a mentee’s self-esteem
and school performance. It provides a mentor with the chance
to re-experience the adventure of childhood while contributing
to the well-being of a child. Today with collaborations between
schools, the business community, service clubs, and faith-based
organizations, GrandAM boasts 42 mentor/mentee matches. With
mentor coordination from Megan McGee and program assistance
from Beth Joseph,
McNeil is actively recruiting new mentors with the goal of
30 new mentors by the end of the school year.
GrandAM mentees are elementary to high school students who
benefit from one-on-one friendships with caring adults. GrandAM
focuses its energy on supporting each student who is eager
for a new relationship with a caring adult, someone who will
be a friend, show that they care, and provide just the amount
of support to help our students succeed.
are all ages and come from all walks of life – trades-people,
homemakers, university and college students, retirees,
members of the business community. Mentors are given training
and strategies to help students and to make the most of
the relationship. Mostly a mentor is a friend.
A mentor is matched with the right student according to need
and interest. Mentor and student meet at school for five hours
or more per month, working on school projects, homework,
reading, playing games, or just talking. While the program
is school and academic-based, it is not just about grades.
It’s about friendships. It’s about trust.
When asked why mentoring was important to her, one GrandAM
mentor said: “human life lived to full potential starts
with love and continues with support. To help a child to wholeness—physically,
intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually—is
the beginning of the journey. I have enjoyed numerous mentors
and what goes around comes around.”
If you would like to learn more about mentoring check out the
GrandAM website, www.grandschools.org/mentor, or contact Dan,
Megan, or Beth at 260-9646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.