2015-09-16 11.17.16October 27th, 2015 – Lebanon, Ind. – A teacher once pointed out that high school is the last collective experience we as Americans share. Think back to that experience. Remember the kid in your class? The one who didn’t raise their hand? Didn’t care? You know, the one who dropped out.

What difference it might have made if someone had taken the time to show that kid, the one who was obviously struggling, that someone cares?

The Mentoring Initiative and Graduation Program in Lebanon is doing just that. The programs are bringing together at risk students and volunteer mentors who, at the heart of it, are showing that student they are worth it.

On October 21 during the 6 year celebration of the program, we heard from several different mentor/ mentee pairs. One pair has been together for three years, with no end in sight. People who have watched the journey of this student, Bryan, are in awe of how much progress he has made academically and personally. The whole room smiled when Bryan shared that he found his passion and plan to help others achieve their goals, like his mentor who has helped him.

Another high school student in the program has gone from potentially not graduating, to graduating early while simultaneously holding a job.

In the past six years, 47 students, for whom completing high school was no guarantee, joined the programs and earned their diplomas. Right now, in the middle school alone, 38 kids want to be mentored, and there are only 28 mentors to fill that need . This program is a chance for us as a community to help these kids see the bigger picture beyond high school. Don’t you think everyone should get their chance to wear the sweltering polyester cap and gown and share in the very last collective experience of the American journey?

Ready to sign up as a mentor?  Contact boonecountymentoring@gmail.com.  If you don’t have the time to mentor, you can always give to the Boone County Mentoring Initiative Endowment at https://www.communityfoundationbc.org/for-donors/give-today/.  There’s a match on those dollars right now, so your donation will go even further!

#BetterinBoone / @BooneEDC