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I recently signed up for the ‘Til Next Time (TNT) Mentoring Program for the Port Clinton City Schools.  I will soon be paired up with a 5th Grader that has requested or been referred to the program.  The idea is to get people from the community to provide positive support for youth facing challenges in their personal, social and academic lives.  I would like to take a few moments to write about the program, what drew me to the program and what I hope to achieve.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to put positive updates from time to time as our relationship develops.

The mentee’s are 5th grader’s and above in elementary schools in Port Clinton, Put-In-Bay, Danbury, Oak Harbor, Benton-Carrol-Salem and Woodmore.  These are kids that have been recommended by their teachers, parents or referred themselves to be in the program.  They are referred due to challenges they are facing due to illness or death in the family, divorce, a parent being incarcerated, difficulty making friends, moving to a new school, struggling academically or trying to focus on future career plans.  The program is funded by the Ottawa County juvenile court system, The United Way and a Community Connectors Grant.

My mom, Lori, has been a part of the program since its inception in Port Clinton.  She had already successfully raised two productive children and felt the desire to help youth in the community and so joined the TNT Mentoring Program.  I thought if she felt it was a good program is was worth my investment as well.  In her words, she has found the program to be very rewarding and receives as much enlightenment from her student as she hopes she brings to her student’s life.  So many children fail simply because they don’t see their own potential or the potential in the world.  Our job as mentors is simply to care and be good role models.

I decided it would be a good fit for me because I see one of the major issues with young people as not having enough positive role models in their lives.  I felt very fortunate that I not only had two very supportive parents but many people in the community who genuinely cared about me and wanted me to succeed.  Not every child has this advantage.  My goal is to provide that support for someone who is not as fortunate as I was.

I care about our community, our state and our country and want as many people to be successful as possible.  Helping a community starts with one person and hopefully, I can simply start by making a new friend.

If you want to learn more about the program and see if it would be a good fit for you, contact Brennan or Lori at the Frederick Agency or Dick Heller, the Port Clinton Mentor Coordinator, at dheller@pccsd-k12.net or 419-301-0868.  If you are reading from elsewhere in Ottawa County, contact: Benton-Carroll-Salem, Annette Nordlund – 419-346-6070; Danbury & PIB, Steve Finn – 419-357-0221; Woodmore, Bob Hathaway – 419-340-4568

By: Brennan Madison

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