Winning Futures seeks mentors for local students

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published August 2, 2011

HARPER WOODS — Every year, residents interested in making a difference in the lives of local children team up with Winning Futures for a mentoring program.

This year, the organization is in search of some more people willing to give a little bit of their time to spend at a school with students.

Mentors will be used at a number of schools, including Warren Mott, Warren Cousino and Harper Woods Secondary School.

“The program is in need of positive role models and mentors from the community,” Winning Futures Program Director Laurie Tarter said. “Our mentors work with their mentees one hour a week during the school day, providing support and encouragement that many kids today need to stay in school, out of trouble, and on the right track.”

The program has had a tremendous impact in Harper Woods, where they are in need of mentors for this school year.

They are looking to recruit 20 mentors, both men and women, because there will be 60 students in the program this year. That is up from 48 last year, Tarter said.

Harper Woods Superintendent Todd Biederwolf has praised the program multiple times since they’ve been working in the district.

“This year, we had three students who were (awarded) with scholarships as a result of their participation,” he said, adding that the district sees improvements in attendance and achievement among the students who participate. “We know this program is having a positive impact on students.”

It’s made a difference in other local schools, as well.

“I have been involved with Winning Futures for six of the past nine years,” said Anthony Wright, marketing cooperative education coordinator with Warren Consolidated Schools. “I have witnessed the positive effect the program has had on students who were at risk of not graduating or otherwise making poor choices.

“The program has benefited countless students,” he said.

Anyone interested in mentoring or learning more about Winning Futures can visit www.winningfutures.org.