MACON, Ga. — They say it takes a village to raise a child, and many kids here in Macon are in need of a strong support system.
The announcement on Wednesday kicked off National Mentoring Month, and the program provides opportunities and resources to students from middle through high school.
The Mentor’s Project of Bibb County has been going on since 1990, and over the past few years, the program has grown to more than 250 mentees in 14 schools in the county.
Teresa Westosazuwa is the program manager and a mentor herself.
“Some of the kids need it, they need this program,” Westosazuwa said. “Everything is free. They don’t have to pay for anything. When they come to our programs, we provide everything.”
Westosazuwa says the program is important because it builds trust between kids and adults.
“It’s not always easy, building that trust with them,” Westosazuwa said. “You just have to talk with them and see where they’re at and just try to work with them.”
And when it comes to the kids she mentors, it’s her nieces!
Nyasia Walden is a junior at Southwest High School. She’s been a mentee for the past five years and says the program is a good way to advance personally and professionally.
“It provides you with knowledge, resources, advice, and it’s just a step further to getting your personal life up there.”
Donija Anthony is a senior at VIP Academy. She talked about how much of an impact this program makes in her life and in others.
“Overall, I just think it’s a good way just to keep the kids doing something that actually matters and not just being out in the streets doing anything, following around anybody,” Anthony said. “It’s a good way to better yourself and better the people around you.”
The Mentor’s Project strives to provide role models to encourage and motivate students who need support outside their family, and to help them teach their full academic, social, and personal potential.
The Bibb County School District says around 100 kids currently need mentors.