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Community Impact: Lindsay's Legacy

Matching Mentors with Students

A little friendship goes a long way. That’s the belief of volunteers who serve with Lindsay’s Legacy Mentoring to befriend and encourage school students.

The Jackson County nonprofit matches adult role models with children and youth in grades K-12 to guide students toward personal and academic success.

“Students may be going through a difficult or challenging situation and are in need of an additional caring adult role model,” says Executive Director Lisa Stephens. “Mentors have the ability to focus on the need of one student in order to find an effective way to encourage and support that student.”

Research shows that mentoring focused on building friendships with youth can lead to strong relationships that foster positive changes, according to Stephens. Mentored students include those living in poverty, children of prisoners, foster children, students struggling academically or socially, and those with a critically or terminally ill parent.

“Mentors take the time to listen attentively to their students each week,” says Stephens. “We like to think of our mentors as personal cheerleaders for students in need of extra encouragement.”

Mentoring students since 2005, Lindsay’s Legacy is named in memory of Jack Lindsay, the first mentor coordinator of a 1990s-era mentoring program in Jackson County. New mentors attend training sessions and commit to spend at least two hours a month in school with the student they mentor.

As the recent school year closed, 195 active mentors served 200 students, including 130 students in Jackson County Schools, 38 in Jefferson City Schools and 32 in Commerce City Schools. Stephens hopes that by the end of the next school year, the program will serve another 25 students currently on a waiting list.

“With 20.9 percent of our students living in poverty in Jackson County, 23.8 percent living with a single parent, and 10.6 percent being affected by child abuse or neglect, we have a great need for community members to get actively involved with children and youth in Jackson County,” Stephens concludes.

For information, email Lisa Stephens at [email protected] or call 706-410-5525.