OCO Invites You To Make A Difference

FULTON, NY – Oswego County Opportunities’ Fulton School Mentoring Program would like to offer you the opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life by becoming a volunteer mentor.

The Fulton School Mentoring program is a school based mentoring program available to Fulton youth in grades 3 through 8 in each of the district’s four elementary schools.

Mentor Terry Richardson of the Fulton School Mentoring Program shares some quality time with his mentee, Lorcan Murphy.
Mentor Terry Richardson of the Fulton School Mentoring Program shares some quality time with his mentee, Lorcan Murphy.

Mentors meet with participating youth one hour per week following the school calendar between the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Youth in the program enjoy one on one time with their mentor that promotes pro-social behavior, helps build their self-esteem, and provides them with positive peer group interaction.

National research has shown that youth with a mentor make significant improvements in academic achievement, social skills, self-esteem and behavior.

Program manager Carol Ireland said that the Fulton School Mentoring Program has produced similar results.

“Students in our program have shown an increase in attendance rates, have improved academically, have a lower rate of disciplinary referrals, and have formed positive peer relationships,” she said.

To help meet the demand for the program, Ireland said she is currently recruiting individuals to serve as mentors with the program.

“We are looking for community minded individuals who would like to donate one hour of their time each week to serving as a mentor. No prior experience is needed as we provide our mentors with the necessary training and match them with a student based on their interests and personalities. Mentors must be 18 years of age or older and be able to commit to one hour per week for a 12-month period,” she said.

“Our mentoring program is wonderful as it benefits both the youth we serve as well as the mentors. The youth involved with the program experience significant gains and the mentors have found it to be a truly rewarding experience. It is remarkable to see what a difference just an hour per week can make in a young person’s life,” added Ireland.

The program is a collaborative effort between OCO, the Fulton Community Task Force, Catholic Charities of Oswego County and the Fulton School District.

It’s funded by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.

For more information on being a mentor or to refer a student, call Ireland at (315) 402-2093.

OCO is a non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.

For more information on OCO and its many programs, visit www.oco.org