Communities in Schools is celebrating the core of its organization – mentors.
Each year the organization hosts an awards banquet that Executive Director Sharon Robbs said is aimed at honoring the mentors who put in thousands of volunteer hours working with the youth of Cleveland County Schools. This year’s banquet is at 6 p.m. Thursday at Elizabeth Baptist Church’s Family Life Center in Shelby.
CIS, which is funded through the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, is a mentoring program that works to motivate students at risk of dropping out of school to make positive life choices that lead to graduation.
“I think the mentors are the unsung heros,” Robbs said “They’re volunteering their time, talent and resources, so they’re worthy of being honored and celebrated.”
During the banquet, a mentor of the year and mentoring group of the year are honored. Robbs said the individual and the volunteer group are each chosen based on the number of volunteer hours served and the personal connection made with the students they work with over the course of the year.
“These mentors are working to wrap the community around our students to provide support,” she said. “They’re all extremely valuable resources.”
Last year’s mentor of the year recipient was Jessica Talbert, a social worker with Children’s Homes of Cleveland County. The mentoring group of the year was The Guardians of the Children.
Chip Beam, mentoring coordinator, recalled one particular moment talking with a mentored student that’s stuck with him.
“Some students already have a core of people who are coming in…
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