The high school mentoring programme, Coaching for Success, has kicked off for 2005 with 24 coaches and 27 students meeting at the John Gray High School.
Although the programme has suffered some losses due to Hurricane Ivan, several coaches returned for a second year, and the programme promises to be just as successful as the previous year, said Programme Coordinator, Nat King.
During their first one-to-one meetings, students and coaches signed a declaration of intent wherein students committed to certain goals while coaches promised to help them achieve those goals.
Voicing her education objectives for this year, student Teresita Ebanks said she wants to better her grades and learn how to make the most of her time in the classroom. Her coach, Mrs Jennifer Hunter, a lawyer and former John Gray student, will meet with Teresita once a week to discuss her progress and help her focus on achieving what she has set out to do.
‘I became a coach, because I want to play a part in our students’ futures, plus I have the chance to give something back to the community.’ Mrs Hunter said.
Another former student, Ms Letitia Davis, also signed up as coach to share her own experiences with student Tunita Rankine. Ms Davis, a qualified cosmetologist who studied abroad, plans to encourage Tunita to reach for the stars.
‘Too often children limit themselves. I want our students to broaden their horizons and believe they can achieve big things,’ she said.
Tunita wants to study medicine one day, and plans on improving her grades with the help of the mentorship programme.
Veteran coach and Programme Development Coordinator for the Department of Employment Services Jean Solomon said her continued involvement in the programme stems from the need to make a difference in a young person’s life.
‘Reaching out to our youth is very important. Through my work, I see the problems they are facing. As adults we need to encourage them, and work with them so they too can become productive members of the community,’ she said.
The Coaching for Success programme, launched in early 2003, proved to be a huge success.
‘We started it to help students achieve their full potential at school and gain leadership skills. It turned out to be very rewarding for both students and mentors,’ said Mr King.