BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A mentoring program that's primarily catered to private school students is extending its reach to public schools.
The program is called “Road to Excellence” and it is put on by Boys Hope Girls Hope. A preview launch was held at Baton Rouge Magnet High on Monday.
Organizers said the program is a game changer in creating well-rounded kids. They are taking their private residential program, which has been around for decades, and putting it into public schools in order to reach a larger audience of students that can use the program.
In addition to providing academic support to selected students, kids in the Road to Excellence program will learn social skills, communication skills and problem solving.
“There are kids in other areas outside of the house, outside of private schools, who are struggling, but they are academically capable and motivated to succeed,” said Karen Belle with Boys Hope Girls Hope. “So, we wanted to open it up for them, so we could help more kids.”
“It's a place where people come together in the community to offer their successful skill sets to help our kids,” said John G. Daniel, executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope. “Our kids will shadow that. That doesn't demean what happens in the school walls, because that's where they're going to hone their crafts, as far as academics.”
A young man who has been in the residential program for nearly 10 years said he's excited more kids will have the same opportunities he's had.
“I know I got to experience great things, like tumbling,” said Joshua Shepherd. “I wouldn't have gotten that without Boys Hope. I probably wouldn't have been an LSU cheerleader. Boys Hope equips you with skills and they introduce you to people that could help you become anything that you want to be. It just gives you things that you can't get at home.”
Officials said the opening session will feature a spirited panel discussion, breakout sessions and a trade show from a variety of civic, business and community leaders. State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, will deliver the welcoming address.
They added community leaders will facilitate discussions with students on a wide array of topics, including government, law enforcement, health care, career preparation, job readiness and study skills.
A number of city leaders attended the official launch.
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