Mentors sought for Hoover City Schools students

Published 3:53 pm Friday, January 10, 2020

HOOVER – Hoover RISE launched a mentoring program in fall 2019, and now the organization is seeking more mentors as the program grows.

Hoover City Schools Board of Education member Deanna Bamman addressed the Hoover City Council at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 6, about the program.

RISE stands for “Redefining Involvement to Strengthen Education,” and the mentoring program aims to “leverage expertise and compassion” in the community to help students maximize achievement and their sense of belonging, Bamman said.

“Where we stand apart is we get very personal with our mentors,” she said. “We ask very specific questions, and we pair them up specifically with a student.”

After a background check and training, mentors are asked about their hobbies and obstacles in their lives, among other topics.

“We have kids who are going through crises,” Bamman said. “They may be being bullied. They may have lost a parent. They may be struggling academically or socially. So we ask mentors what have you overcome in life and pair them up based on those things.”

The mentoring program launched in fall 2019 at Simmons Middle School and Riverchase, Rocky Ridge and Green Valley elementary schools, with 26 mentors in those pilot schools.

Thirty mentors are scheduled to undergo training in January, Bamman said, and the program needs more.

Mentors commit to 30 minutes a week during a school day.

For more information, visit, scroll down to “Quick Links” and click “Hoover RISE.”

Another planned initiative for Hoover RISE will be aimed at families transitioning into the city and school system, Bamman said.

Following conversations with Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and other city officials, plans for the program include welcoming new residents and students with tools that will help them navigate the city and the services offered.

“We want to give our new families something that says welcome to our city, welcome to Hoover City Schools, we are glad you are here,” Bamman said.