Can one hour a week make a difference? Project Leadership asks volunteers to give one hour each week to mentor a student. One hour to listen. One hour to provide feedback and friendship. One hour of accountability. The hours add up, like grains of sand in an hourglass. While the individual hour might seem insignificant, each hour is a deposit toward a student’s future. The hours, when added together, make a significant impact. The hours add up to provide stability and perspective and hope. Read Jacob’s story, which is really Keith’s story, too. The Project Leadership team is cheering for Jacob. And thankful for Keith’s commitment to giving an hour a week. Thank you for making a difference!
As a ninth grade student at Muncie Southside High School, Jacob was matched with a Project Leadership mentor named Keith. The two of them have developed a strong relationship over the past four years. Jacob is now a freshman at Ball State studying Computer Science. He and Keith stay in touch and occasionally have lunch together on campus.
While Jacob graduated with a high GPA, his SAT scores were too low for him to be admitted to Ball State right away. He was put on the waiting list. Jacob and Keith discussed options, called Project Leadership for advice, and eventually put together a plan that would improve Jacob’s chances of acceptance. They also moved forward with alternatives in case that acceptance did not come through.
In the end, Jacob was able to attend Ball State and absolutely loves being there. He admits that he has struggled his first semester. It’s different from high school, he explains. “In high school you just had to do what was needed to get points. There was a lot of fluff – assignments, extra credit, and participation points – that allowed anyone who really wanted good grades to get them,” he says. “I didn’t need to do a lot of studying. In college, however, you have to have a deep and thorough understanding of the material. I’m just now figuring out how to do that. Professors care, but it’s up to the student to get the job done. It’s been stressful and a lot of work and not at all like they portray in the movies. I’ve wanted to quit, but I know I just have to keep working. I won’t earn the good grades I’m used to this semester, but I’m optimistic that next semester will be better.”
When talking about his mentor, Jacob explains that Keith doesn’t have all the answers and he doesn’t do the work for him, but the rock solid support he provides is invaluable. Keith had his own set of problems to overcome, but he went all the way and made something of himself, says Jacob. He says of his mentor: “He is a great person! He provided a straight line for me to follow and supported me when I needed it most. Having him come for lunch each week and being able to talk things over with him was the greatest thing for me!”
Would you like to impact a student like Jacob’s life? You, like Keith, can impact a student’s life. Get involved as a mentor– one hour each week can truly make a difference! Click here to learn more.
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