In October of 1999, former Governor of Florida, the Honorable Jeb Bush launched the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative in an effort to recruit Floridians to become volunteer mentors. The Governor’s Mentoring Initiative was designed to help students excel in school.
Recognizing the importance of mentors and volunteers within our communities and schools, in 2003, the City of Belle Glade adopted a Mentor and Volunteer Program Policy in joining the fight to promote the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative and efforts to save our children.
Unfortunately, as staff reviewed the policy and researched recent activities, we have discovered that over the past 3-years that we have had only two City of Belle Glade employees to take advantage of the City of Belle Glade’s Mentor and Volunteer Program Policy.
Statistics show that young people who are mentored are less likely to use drugs, drink alcohol, skip school or get into fights. The Mentoring policy provides City “employees” with a unique opportunity to change lives and a simple way to make a difference in the community. It is a proven fact that when a child knows that the parents are involved and concerned, the child’s academics are totally different; FCAT Scores excel, our youth graduate with diplomas in the pursuit of higher learning institutions.
Our schools and homes are like a garden. The ground is tilled and fertilized, and then vegetables are planted and watered. The careful nurturing of those vegetables, by hoeing to remove the weeds that continuously grow and providing nourishing water, will produce good food to sustain the body. However, if the garden is left to fend for itself, weeds and harmful insects will take over until the garden is good for nothing. There will no longer be good food for sustenance, only a small wasteland of weeds and chiggers and dried up ground.
This does not have to be our children’s future, consider becoming a mentor, contact the City’s Human Resources Department to inquire what/how you can become a mentor at one our local schools. Or simply review your employee handbook to abreast yourself of the policy, “MENTOR AND VOLUNTEER PROGRAM POLICY.” This City’s Commission wants you involved with our youth. The children need that guidance, it is a known fact that if you train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old enough to make those life changing choices, he will
remember. Invest in our children.
"Your attitude is your compass in life and is the one thing over which you have complete control. Be sure to point it in the right direction."
-Vivian Hunter, Director of Human Resources.