Professionals Needed to Mentor Students

For professionals who want to give back but have limited time, the Leadership Institute may be the answer.

For about 15 to 20 hours over the course of a school year, mentors talk life skills with seventh- and eighth-graders at Safford K-8 School, 200 E. 13th St. The mostly after-school program focuses on preparing students for high school, college, and life beyond.

For eighth-grader DeBrandi Valenzuela, the Leadership Institute last year gave the her the confidence to speak up in classes and even in a school assembly.

Rosie Valdez, now a freshman at Cholla High School, realized she did have the qualities of a leader. She just needed someone to point them out to her.

“Someone who is not their teacher, who is not their parent, who is not their family is helping engage them in: ‘Look, this is what life could be for you,’” said Diane Dean, the teacher of the student leadership and service class and the Leadership Institute’s sponsor teacher. The institute is an extension of her leadership/student council class for certain students.

Volunteer with Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona also help middle school students in a group setting at least once a week. The GoodGuides Youth Mentoring program, a separate volunteering opportunity provided by Goodwill, also provides one-on-one mentoring focused on completing school and postsecondary education. Volunteers must commit to six hours a month for one year. GoodGuides mentors can also work with Youth On Their Own teens! Visit their website for more information.

Staff Spotlight: Monika Cabrera (Program Coordinator)
Alumni Update – Jesus Valenzuela (Class of 2016)