Elkhart mentoring program needs your help

ELKHART, Ind. -- The "Care' mentoring program has taken off over the year. The Elkhart program is recognized as one of the best in the state. But now the organization needs volunteers.

Jim Mellot and Dequarious have been together for four years, and have been through many ups and downs. They say they started working together after enrolling in the "Cares" program.

"We talk about school work of course. We also talk about sports, we talk about what going on in his family, hard work, good decisions, that sort of thing" said Jim Mellot.

Jim is Dequarious's mentor, and a volunteer. When the two are not together, he's owner and manager of a local manufacturing company. He says these children and teens need help.

"I think you have a lot more kids who don't have direction and need somebody who's a constant in their life. That's my objective here; to make assure Dequarious that I am not going anywhere and I will be here next year," said Mellot.

Dequarious says he feels the same way. He's aspiring to be a firefighter, but says more people need a mentor in their life.

"It get us time out of class to talk about stuff. If we feeling kind of sad we can talk about it before doing work," said Dequarious.

"The research backs common sense. When the child has that type of a relationship they tend to do better in school tend to make better choices for attitude and behavior tend to do really good things as they grow up into adult," said  President and CEO Indiana Youth Institute Bill Stanczykiewicz

Research aside, these kids need someone in their life, someone to push them further than they might have ever imagined.

"Too many of these kids think success is for somebody else, that opportunity is for somebody else and the mentor can say no success is for you, opportunity is for you. Your hard work will matter." said Stanczykiewic.

To volunteer, call your local school district. It is suggested you commit at least an hour a week to the program. Also Stanczykiewicz says many businesses will let you take an additional half hour of lunch to participate in the program.

Share this article: