The program began last school year at Deady and Woodson Middle Schools and this fall expanded to Worthing High School. It was the brain child of two HPD officers, Lieutenants Joseph Livingston and Craig Williams. Lt. Williams says a mentor basically gets to know the student.
“We just talk to the kids and develop a rapport with them, try to figure out what their problems are, what their struggles may be and we help them with school work, we help them find jobs, help them with skills, life skills.”
He says the goal is to discover a student’s weaknesses and strengthen them so they come to realize that they can achieve more then they may have though possible.
This program has a zero budget. No one gets anything from it expect the satisfaction of giving back to the community. Lt Williams says it’s worth the effort because it’s effective.
“Last year was the first year we did it and we made a difference with the kids we worked in, their grades improved, their attendance improved, their behavior improved. When we first started everybody was kind of stand offish but as it went on it became like a little small family so it made a big difference.”
Worthing High School Assistant Principal Andre Matthews says at the moment this is only a few people tackling a very big problem but that one day this mentoring program may be spread across HISD and to other school districts.