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Mentors Needed

February 20 2018
February 20 2018

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In 2017, Redeemer embarked on a new ministry partnership with San Antonio non-profit Communities in Schools to connect male mentors from our congregation with young men in San Antonio’s public high schools who are at risk of dropping out before completing their high school degree. Seven men from Redeemer have been part of the program this school year, primarily mentoring students at Lanier High School, less than two miles from Redeemer.

Chris Allen, whose family has attended Redeemer since 2015, says it has been a gradual road to build trust with his student, who struggles with social interaction. But now Chris is able to regularly talk to his student about his life and encourage him to keep up his studies and finish high school.

“He talks about that a lot,” Chris says. “He does not understand why he should stay in. In his mind, if he drops out, he can work. The short-term benefit of working might be appealing but in the end, him being able to finish school is the big deal.”

Brad Lehman, another Redeemer member who mentors a junior student at Lanier, says it can be challenging to make room for mentoring during the work week, but the time is well spent to encourage his student and help him consider long-term goals for himself.

Ilsa Garcia, volunteer coordinator for CIS, says many more mentors are needed. A background check and simple one-hour training is required to become a mentor. Garcia says if men can make the commitment to consistently spend time with a student, they can have an impact, even if they have never mentored before.

“Just take the chance,” she says. “If you can be a good listener, that’s what it takes.”

Redeemer will host a training for men interested in becoming mentors with Communities in Schools on March 8 at 7 p.m. at Redeemer. This training and a background check fulfilll the requirements to become a mentor, and new mentors can be paired with a student this school year. To sign up, contact Victor Martinez. You can learn more about Communites in Schools on their Web site.


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