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GCPS seeks mentors for young boys

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Public Schools is seeking mentors for middle school boys involved in its Community-Based Mentoring Program.

Research shows successful mentoring programs result in increased student self-esteem, academic achievement, and social and leadership skills, as well as improved graduation rates.

The school system started the Community-Based Mentoring Program last year.

"I think there's a big need for it," mentor Tim White said. "So many, many boys ... absolutely need a male positive figure in heir lives."

White, the father of an 11-year-old and owner of Tim's Rib Joint in Dacula, said he strived to build a positive relationship with his mentee, a student who attended Osborne Middle School in 2008-09. While he regularly talked to the boy about his grades, White planned several fun activities, such as camping or fishing trips.

"One of my main things that I hope he takes away from it is an everlasting relationship," White said. "I'd like to see (him) be successful academically and in every facet in his life. If I can help him in any way, I'm here for him. That relationship will never go away. He'll still always have Tim to talk to if that's what he wants."

Community members interested in becoming mentors can attend a training session from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Instructional Support Center at 437 Old Peachtree Road N.W. in Suwanee.

For more information or to register to attend, call James Rayford at 678-301-7321 or e-mail james_rayford@gwinnett.k12.ga.us or call Andrew Toney at 770-314-3614 or e-mail andrew_toney@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.