Mentors deserve pat on the back

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You hear it all the time.

“Children are our future.”

A group of adults here in Butler County are making sure that our future is promising.

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Margie Kennedy, Chad McGriff, Susan Andrews and Tammy Gibbs all serve as mentors for the Teach 1 to Lead 1 program at Greenville Middle School.

The program, which spans 12 weeks, is designed to teach the seventh and eighth grade students principles and give them the necessary tools to succeed in life. It began five years ago and uses material from Celebrate Life International, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming kids into responsible citizens.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Kennedy and Ty McMeans, who is participating in the program. It only took a minute to realize this was more than just a 12-week program that ends with a certificate and a pat on the back. It’s something that changes lives.

McMeans told me that he’s learned to give back to his community. He’s made new friends. He’s learned to control his anger.

That didn’t happen because of a lesson from a book. It happened because people like Kennedy, McGriff, Andrews and Gibbs decided to invest in our future by becoming involved in the lives of these students.

On Tuesday, the four mentors celebrated the graduation of students from the Teach 1 to Lead 1 program. The truth is we should all be celebrating.

These students deserve that pat on the back.

And you know what? The mentors deserve one too.