ROSELLE—United Way of Greater Union County’s new peer to peer mentoring partnership at Abraham Clark High School in Roselle has been a great success. The program pairs high school juniors with eighth grade students to help “at risk” students maximize their potential.
This program, based on “The Validating Mentor” and “The Validating Mentor Workbook” by Westfield resident Gail Cassidy, is a public/private partnership between The Roselle Public Schools and United Way.
The program debuted at Abraham Clark High School in March 2009 under the direction of guidance Counselor Jordan Siegel, with a series of mentor trainings with Gail Cassidy. Jordan Siegel commented, “The benefits of this program are twofold, the mentors realize that their knowledge and assistance is valuable and the mentorees have the opportunity to connect with a guiding force. These students need someone to believe in them. With their mentors they have someone they can identify with – to see as a role model for success; so school isn’t so overwhelming.”
From the mentors on what the program has meant to them so far:
“I’ve met new kids and I’ve learned that I can be a better leader myself, for the program.”
“I like the fact that I can be trusted and that I can help someone else.”
“I have increased my leadership potential, increased my confidence in myself by helping someone else.”
Cassidy, the program’s author, explained “This mentoring program assists young people in their search for a direction in life. They need some help to discover their personal gifts and talents, as well as learn how to use them. This program is a wonderful example of empowering youth to support their peers. We salute the collaborative work of United Way and the Roselle Public Schools.”
The program was funded, through United Way of Greater Union County, by a grant from the Thomas Glasser Foundation of Westfield, a non-profit organization established in memory of a Sept. 11 victim. The program in Roselle will be continued in the fall, and possibly expanded to other school districts in the area.
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