At last Wednesday’s business launch, One Wyoming 1 on 1 appealed to local employers to become mentors to students in Wyoming schools. The need for mentors is significant says Harry Knol of Wyoming Public Schools, while the results are nothing but positive according to “The Mentoring Effect”.
“Be someone who matters to someone who matters,” says Pastor Eddy Brewer of GR First Church.
The purpose of One Wyoming 1 on 1 is to connect local youth with positive adult mentors so they can grow up to be tomorrow’s leaders. The program requires mentors to meet with the student one hour per week, usually during school on school property, with training and support provided by the One Wyoming 1 on 1 steering team. Outside events, like free movies, are also offered to mentors and mentees throughout the year.
Speaking in support of the program was President of Metro Health Hospital Mike Faas and former Wyoming Park basketball player and Michigan State alumni and basketball player Drew Neitzel, who is currently a financial advisor in the Wyoming area.
Faas admitted that his “eyes were opened” by what he learned that day.
“You can never be a leader unless people want to follow you. And you don’t always know who influences you until years later. That’s why this program is so important,” he explained adding, “I completely support it and look forward to sharing it with my management team. This is something people will want to be a part of.”
For Drew Neitzel, mentoring is something he does on a regular basis with his annual basketball camp for kids in 4th to 8th grade. “It gives you a good feeling to help kids,” Neitzel shared from his personal experience. He says that he recalls his first mentor was his dad.
“Then through high school I had teachers and coaches who guided me and encouraged me to excel not only academically but as a basketball player as well.
“The greatest thing you can do for these kids is support them and tell them they can reach for the stars,” he said.
Neitzel added that he owes a great deal of gratitude to MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo who changed him from being a quiet kid to a man who could take charge, speak up and become a leader. “That’s what mentoring is about.”
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for a student of any age in the Wyoming school system, e-mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.