Dothan Prep needs you to be a mentor

Published: Dec. 16, 2019 at 5:18 PM CST
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Middle school can be a tough time for students as they are given responsibility and independence for the first time.

On top of that, some students also battle with adversities.

Dothan Prep Academy is trying to make a difference for students facing these challenges.

The school is relying on community members to step up, serve and build relationships that could change the mindset of students.

Dothan Prep Academy Principal Darius McKay has been working with middle schoolers for years.

He knows that sometimes students are facing more than just physical changes and chemical imbalances.

“Many times they come from environments where they don't have great examples, and so we're here as community members trying to make an impact in the lives of our students,” says McKay.

The middle school is launching a mentorship program because he believes consistent long term connections can make the difference.

“We show them how to deal with issues, how to deal with conflict, how to set goals for their lives,” says McKay.

The school is looking outside of its doors to find these mentors.

“We're looking for all adults in the community who are interested. Just have a willing heart and a passion to impact kids,” says McKay.

Mentors will meet with students during their flexible class hours twice a month for an hour at a time.

The goal is to have a mentor for every student, but for now, the top priority goes to students facing the most challenges.

“We're going to get our staff members to make some recommendations of students who they feel like they really need a mentor,” says McKay.

Other schools already have programs like the one being implemented.

Each week a community leader speaks to students at Faine Elementary School.

The principal says their messages and advice are shaping students' futures.

“I think it helps make a difference with our students just kind of giving them different experiences, giving them different views, of different careers and different paths they can take,” says Principal Jeff Torrence.

It's all about making positive impacts on student's lives.

“Just having a concern and care about a student ultimately I’ve seen many, many students become successful as a result,” says McKay.

There will be an information meeting Tuesday, December 17, at 5:30 pm in Dothan Prep's auditorium for those interested in mentoring a student there.

If you are interested but can't make the meeting you are encouraged to contact the school.