TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WTXL) - "A call to action," is what Superintendent Jackie Pons called the 1,000 Mentors Initiative at a press conference on Monday at the Ruediger Elementary School.
Both Pons and Mayor Gillum started this initiative to recruit 1,000 adult mentors to volunteer one hour a week with a child.
With the school year less than a week away, the initiative has received 164 inquires to become a mentor says Administrator Coordinator Akhenaton Thomas from the Office of the Mayor.
Mayor Gillum says the initiative is to help children achieve success and gain support from the adults who surround them.
"They'll [the adults] be there to prop them up on their leaning side. They'll be there to inspire them in moments where they need inspiration," says Mayor Gillum.
The initiative has partnered with organizations in need of mentors including Goodwill GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program, the United Way Reading Pals and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Already the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has 10 mentors recruited from this initiative says Alva Striplin, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Leon County School Board member.
However, it's not only the children that benefit from the mentoring.
"There's thousands of success stories of individuals that have had mentors that have turned their lives around. And a lot of times when you ask the mentor themselves, they feel like they got more out of it than even the students. So it's a great partnership for our school system and a great partnership for our community," says Pons.