Partners in Prevention Aspire Mentoring Program expanded their annual College Visits this month to tour four local colleges over a two-day period. Twenty of the program’s high school aged mentees joined program staff and volunteer mentors for visits to Kilgore College, Jarvis Christian University, Tyler Junior College, and Texas College. Aspire Mentoring Program staff coordinates with the colleges to organize the visits, including scheduling guided tours and eating lunch on campus.
“One of the goals of our program is to have students graduate high school with a plan for the future,” said Stephanie Adams, Aspire Mentoring Program Administrator. “Approximately 80% of the youth in our program are living in poverty. College visits give students the chance to explore opportunities they might not have known were attainable.”
Miron Tims, a 10th grader at Longview High School who attended with his mentor of three years, reflected on the visits. “I enjoyed the new experience it brought, andseeing all the schools had to offer. I learned that along the way, people cared about what I wanted to do for a living in the future.”
Hallsville High School senior Nevaeh Vinson appreciated the chance to tour Jarvis Christian University and Texas College, both of which are HBCUs
(Historically black colleges or universities). “They were so inviting and welcoming with open arms, and had a lot of interesting clubs and events,” she said. “I was also very excited to see a group of young people of color who were engaged in the activity of their college!”
Aspire staff follows up with mentees after college visits to connect them to additional resources such as help with completing the FAFSA and finding scholarships and financial aid. “Mentees come back from visits energized, inspired, and open to new possibilities for their educational future,” said Adams.
If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child or youth, Aspire Mentoring Program is having a New Mentor Orientation for Men Only on Wednesday, March 29th from 11:30am-1:30pm. Please contact 903-237-1019 or visit LongviewTexas.gov/Mentoring for more information.