Research has shown that people are strengthened and feel valued when they can give back to their communities, especially if there is a need.
So this writer heard about a new and special program, at Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy, in which employees from the central office of the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) are practicing the principle of reciprocity.
They have begun a mentoring program in which they will service inner city students in Grades Three and Four. The program started Friday, October 25 and will run through the academic year.
The twenty-five volunteer mentors will meet weekly with the students and focus upon academic achievement, social skills, career goal-setting, and cultural enrichment/enhancement.
The coordinators of the program are George Van Hook and Brian Neal, of DHR's Constituent Services.
Neal says the reason for giving back is to encourage the participants to be their best and to always strive for and focus upon the next level. He also said this is the way to ensure that the next generation will be lifelong learners and be ready for college and/or the world of work. In addition, Neal indicated that the mentors receive a feeling of self-gratification as they impact the students with whom they interact.
This is not the first mentoring program in which Van Hook and Neal have been involved. In the late 1990's, they and several other co-workers were heavily involved with third through fifth grade students at Samuel F.B. Morse Elementary School, 400 S. Pulaski Street.
The Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy is located at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, and services students in Grades PreK through Five. The principal of the school is Debra Santos.
For more information, contact the school at 410-396-0882.