Program connects ACS students with mentors

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby County is currently partnering with Alabaster City Schools for a new workplace mentoring program called “Proof Positive.”

Currently, the program has eight students, mostly in middle school, that travel to the Shelby-Hoover campus of Jefferson State Community College to meet with volunteers who mentor for one hour bi-weekly.

“We started Proof Positive in December where we pair Alabaster City School children with a volunteer who works at Jefferson State Community College,” said Kim Egan, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby County. “The goal is to allow the children to be exposed to a college campus, and hopefully encourage them to attend college after they graduate high school. They also have the opportunity to learn more about different careers they might want to pursue.”

Egan said the students have had the opportunity so far to see demonstrations from individuals involved in the medical field, cooking lessons through Jeff State’s culinary program, and various team-building exercises that encourage students to work together and think “outside of the box.”

“We really work on boosting self-esteem with the students as well,” Egan said. “We would like to work with this group from now until the time they graduate so they can be on target to graduate from high school and hopefully consider the possibility of college.”

Egan hopes the program will expand in the future to include additional volunteers and various companies that could serve as a work site for volunteers to meet with the students.

“We would love to have additional locations for the students to visit,” Egan said. “It could be anything such as a police station or a corporation. It would also allow for employees to not have to leave their place of business to meet with the students.”

Egan said she is also hopeful to expand the program into additional school systems throughout the county in the future.

“Right now, we are working with the Alabaster City Schools who help identify students for the program, and get applications to the parents,” Egan said. “We would really like to see the program grow and look forward to having additional students participate.”

For more information about Poof Positive or to volunteer as a mentor, contact Egan at 378-4050 or 434-6017.

Students from Alabaster City Schools recently met with volunteers at the Shelby-Hoover campus of Jefferson State Community College. The volunteers mentor the students for one hour bi-weekly, teaching them about various things such as careers they might want to pursue after high school. (Contributed)

Students from Alabaster City Schools recently met with volunteers at the Shelby-Hoover campus of Jefferson State Community College. The volunteers mentor the students for one hour bi-weekly, teaching them about various things such as careers they might want to pursue after high school. (Contributed)