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Mentors Program facing shortage

Four years ago, Kendrea Jones never thought about going to college. "I was tired of school," she says, "I said I didn't ever want to go back to school."

Now a 12th grader at Northeast High School, she says she's passed her graudation test and plans on going to college.

It's the same for 10th graders Jhakorie Dennard and Jalen Anderson. All three are members of the Mentor's Project of Bibb County, which pairs adult mentors with students in middle and high school.

The students were paired with Diane Vann, who signed up for the program to make a difference. "I think that the children of Macon are wonderful and they don't know it. And it's up to mentors to really teach them that have a lot going for them and how to make the most of themselves," she says.

The Mentor's project requires mentors to spend at least 4 hours a month with mentees, with the goal of increasing the graduation rate and helping students achieve their goals.

The program relies in part on a $130,000 "Gear Up" grant from the federal government. The grant requires they have 131 more mentors sign up by June in order to meet the requirements.

Director June O'Neal says the grant money is important because it pays for transportation and program staff.

It's why she says getting more volunteers is crucial.

If you want to sign up for the program, you can call their office at (478) 765-8624.

Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge


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