AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP volunteer group, better known as the “JCC Mentors,” ended their first-semester mentoring students by leaving a huge impact on their community. This all-male identifying group of volunteers has been mentoring 7th-grade boys at Ben Hill Middle School in Tampa twice a month for an hour. Each time they meet with the same group of boys as they eat pizza, talk about life, and share insightful advice about the future.
The JCC Mentors have become fully invested in not only their mentee’s academic success but their personal success as well. By sharing their unique life experiences, they have inspired the Ben Hill boys to reach higher heights. Dr. Alicia Ponds, a teacher at Ben Hill, expressed how the volunteers have “brought a tremendous increase in confidence, camaraderie, goal setting, and friendship amongst the boys.” The students have learned from their mentors that to flourish in life, you should always try your best, never give up on your dreams, and be a leader!
When asked, “What do you want to do after high school?” nearly all the Ben Hill boys mentioned aspirations of college or a career. A school advocate shared that after three months of mentoring, many of the boys had improved test scores! The mentees enjoy spreading their wise knowledge to eager students who appreciate learning how to be a good and kind person, and live life to the fullest. The boys described their mentors as superheroes like Batman, Ironman, and Superman because of their intelligence and willingness to help others. The JCC Mentors continue to show up for their mentees and make a difference sparking joy in the lives of 7th-grade boys at Ben Hill Middle School.
Committed to Help Children Succeed
Recent test results from the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, recognized as the nation’s report card, indicates that children have considerable learning loss due to disrupted education during COVID-19. Now more than ever children need extra support in the classroom to develop their literacy skills. Thanks to these donors, children in Pinellas and Hillsborough County will have the one-on-one tutoring they need to succeed.
TD Bank Charitable Foundation granted Readers in Motion $5,000 to provide tutoring in the classroom and provide incentives to encourage more reading at home and parent involvement.
Winn-Dixie provided a $10,000 Romay Davis Grant to provide tutors and mentors in the classroom. This grant is named after a 102-year-old Winn-Dixie associate who continues to inspire with her unwavering dedication and strong work ethic.
The Saunders Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to engage even more Foster Grandparent volunteers in the classroom.