I first learned about the D5 Mentoring program 5 years ago when some of us from my F3 Group decided we wanted to help make an impact!

Honestly, I had no clue what I could “add” to any student that I would be partnered with, but I decided I wanted to help. I’m very glad I did and enjoyed my time with this young man. His Mom later posted this on Facebook and I guess it was then that I finally realized how each of can have an impact on others if we just offer our services and be ourselves! To learn more, read below from the March 14th New Irmo News.

In addition to my husband being a wonderful dad and super positive influence in our son’s life. God has gifted (our son) with another great male influence in his mentor, Mr. Nathan Ballentine!

Through his efforts to connect with (our son) he has made a huge impact on his life. In the few minutes I observed their relationship it was easy to understand (our son) wanting me to leave and him to stay!

He’s attentive, funny, caring, and most importantly focused on (our son). During their weekly chats/visits he plays Connect 4, Chess, Mad Libs, and even shares some governmental knowledge with (our son).

Mr. Ballentine’s role in the SC House of Representatives could easily command all of his time and attention, but he has made it a priority to volunteer. His volunteering is making our son even greater inside and out! (My husband) & I are immensely grateful that he is our son’s mentor.

Mr.Ballentine keeps (our son)’s name confidential, and while I’m thankful for that I’m hoping his efforts will influence the next great man to stand and make an impact on a child’s life.

School District Five is expanding it’s current mentoring program and is inviting community members to come help students.

Adults are asked to mentor one student of one hour a week at the student’s school to help develop their social and emotional well-being.

Mentors play a significant role in establishing a connection with their mentee, providing advice and guidance, lending support, listening and serving. Examples of what mentoring looks like:

* Reading a book with your mentee
* Helping with homework
* Eating lunch with your mentee
* Being a listening ear and/or having a positive conversation

All community mentors will complete a Mentor Application which includes a SLED background check. The application typically takes about 1 week to process from the time the district receives the application.

Approved mentors will be contacted by the district to schedule a brief in person training with Student Services Officer Jason Pollock.

“Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter,” Student Services Officer Jason Pollock said. “We know that when there’s a trusted adult in a young person’s life, it pretty much improves everything, academically and socially.”

Visit www.lexrich5.org/mentor to learn more about the Mentorship program.