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YMCA to celebrate mentoring month

January is National Mentoring Month, and the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County and the Reach & Rise mentoring program is gearing up to celebrate the month and encourage people to volunteer their time to mentor children in Selma.

“Mentoring is something that is important to the youth and to adults as well,” said Martha Pilcher, Reach & Rise program director. “A mentor is someone who models to a child [good] behaviors and they have a positive impact in their life.”

Earlier this year, the YMCA was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention to go toward financing the program and its activities throughout the year.

So far, a few mentors have taken the training course to become a mentor, and two have already been paired with their mentee and began meeting with one another.

One of those mentors is Carrie “Pud” Glover, a retired teacher at Morgan Academy with 20 years of teaching experience.

“I have recently retired from teaching and I wanted to use my time wisely. I read about this program … and it really peaked my interest,” Glover said. “It’s very rewarding and it’s a good thing to do for our community.”

Glover said she has already started meeting with her mentee, and she can tell this is something that will be good for both her and her mentee.

“It’s going very well. I met the young lady that’s my mentee the first of December, and we’ve had a couple of events. We’ve gone out to eat supper, we’ve been to a movie at the Walton Theatre and we’re going to make Christmas cookies,” Glover said. “It’s very meaningful. It’s going to take some time to develop our relationship, but I feel like we’re off to a really good start. I enjoy being with her.”

Glover said she began participating in the mentoring program to make a difference in a child’s life, and she hopes to do just that.

“I would like to make an impact on her life in a positive way,” Glover said.

Pilcher said she hopes that more people will feel the need to work with the children in the community that need a little more one on one time.

“We got a good start, but we still need more mentors. It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Pilcher said. “Nationally, the kids that have participated have been overwhelmed with the fact that they have a special friend that is there for them with no interruptions. I think it means a lot to the children.”

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor, or those that want to referral a child, can contact Pilcher at 327-1489 or Martha@ymcaofselma.com or stop by the YMCA to pick up a form.

“I would like to encourage other people to do this, to be a mentor,” Glover said.