Mentoring program deserves our support

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2007

By Staff
Sometimes, all a person needs is a hand.
Not a handout, but helping hand. Beaufort County Community College is trying to offer that and you can help.
For the last several years, the college has offered a Study Support Services program. It provides mentors to students in need and this year, it hopes to expand.
Student Support Services is a federally funded program designed to assist full-time students who are educationally and culturally disadvantaged. To be eligible for the program, a student must be a first-generation college student of low income or have a documented disability.
Some of us may take the concept of going to college as a given. If your parents went to college and their parents went to college, it seems natural that you will go to college. But some of today’s college students don’t come from that background. Some of them not only have no other college graduates in their family, they might not even have a lot of high school graduates.
To get the expanded program up to full speed, Maurice Jordan said BCCC needs college graduates willing to volunteer to at least four to six hours a month to mentor one student.
Jordan, a community resource coordinator for Student Support Services, said about 175 students are accepted into the program each semester.
Once a student is accepted, the program provides that student with educational planning, tutoring, assistance with financial aid, leadership development and access to computer technology.
Out of the 175 students in the program, about 15 to 20 will be targeted to receive a mentor from the community.
The goal of Student Support Services is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next.
Dorothy Jordan, director of Student Support Services, said these students need someone to “encourage them and broaden their horizons.”
The director said mentors don’t have to be “a doctor or a lawyer.”
People chosen to serve as mentors will go through a four-hour training session at the college. The training and the four to six hours a month really doesn’t seem like that big a price to pay for a chance to truly change someone’s life.
Mentors may serve for multiple semesters. You can call 940-6251 to register or for more information.
The program is a solid effort to make a change for the better. We hope it has mentors coming out of the woodwork.