PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — January is National Mentor Month, a time to promote youth mentoring. At Northview Public Schools, youth mentoring is promoted year round.
The program, which is called the Mentor Program, began about 13 years ago. At first, only 30 mentors were a part of the program. Now, more than 200 have joined.
Mentors are community members who decided to volunteer for the program. A student who signs up for the program is paired with a mentor. The two meet for 15 minutes a week at the student’s school.
“It’s really just a hey, how’s your week going, I care about you,” said Janine Conway, Northview Mentor Program Director. “In many instances we found that that mentor is that one person in their life that is consistent, that is there every week and actually helps them navigate life and make it through.”
Scott Dood and Cole Besemer have been a pair through The Mentor Program for about four years. Dood is Besemer’s mentor. Dood said he usually brings Besemer a snack then they sit down and talk about a variety of topics.
“From music to sports, to you know what his plans are on the weekends, to how schools going —it’s everything,” said Dood.
Besemer said Dood has been a great role model for him and a cheerleader when he needs it.
“I get a lot out of it, he definitely helps me very much,” said Besemer. “He gives me kind of an outside look. I need that clarity in my life.”
Besemer isn’t the only one who gets something out of the program. Dood gets just as much, maybe even more, he said.
“It’s been very fulfilling. It gives me another sense of purpose to be able to come in and just spend some time with some people and kind of know what they are going through on an everyday weekly basis,” said Dood.
The program is offered to students at the following Northview Public Schools: Crossroads Middle School, Northview High School and the Northview East Campus Alternative High School.