Elevate Bay, now entering its seventh year, is Bay District Schools’ mentor initiative. This grass roots program was created in response to the growing need in our community for positive role models in the lives of so many of our students. Although our initial focus was elementary school, following the unexpected events of the last several years, we now serve all Bay District Schools non-charter public schools (grades K-12.) We realize that early intervention is key and yet we know that EVERY student can be successful when provided the right support and tools. Our hope is to instill hope in EVERY student, particularly those who face extreme obstacles in both their home and academic lives.
Despite the challenges, we have been so blessed with community members willing to share their time and energy with our students. We have a very aggressive goal of 1,000 mentors for our student population. We have currently been able to match 35% of our students on our waiting lists with mentors! Many of our mentors have continued from year to year with their students and are seeing great success. And while we are so grateful for their continued support, we are always excited to have new mentors join us on our mission.
Although our primary focus is our students, we can never underestimate how the support our mentors provide also impacts our teachers. We are very aware of the increasing workload our teachers carry every day. Our mentors are an amazing support and work to lighten the load in many ways but primarily with their consistent support of their students and classroom presence. We believe together we can achieve amazing success and become the brightest and best Florida has to offer! Without a doubt, our mentors bring value through their vast life experience as well as their success stories and challenges overcome along the way. We are confident that the examples provided to our young students can and will change the trajectory of their lives. The knowledge and wisdom shared with our students brings our great big world to life and offers possibilities many never knew existed.
Whether we’re learning about banking, construction, a local trade or serving our country across the globe – NOTHING is wasted! Regardless of their profession or age, we are confident that every mentor has something to contribute to the future success of our student body.
We are very appreciative of the business and community partners who have come alongside us and never wavered in their support. Their willingness to share our opportunity with their employees and members is a driving force in our recruiting efforts.
If you’re looking for a way to engage in Bay County and make a difference in the future, please consider Elevate Bay! Our school-based mentor program offers several options (One-on-One, Classroom & Lunch Buddy). We currently have over 350 students on waiting lists across the district. The variety of options allows for flexibility for mentors and teachers while offering an opportunity for our community members to make a tangible difference in both the daily activities as well as the future. Mentors are given the opportunity to select their preferred school site and their mentoring option. This means you can select your community school, your alma mater or select a school close to your work/home to make the process more conducive to scheduling. Unlike many mentor programs, our mentoring takes place during the school day and on school property and is supervised by teachers/school staff.
Our simple two-step process includes a simple application followed by a New Mentor Orientation session. Once both pieces have been completed, mentors will be connected with the school liaison and will be ready to begin supporting their partnership. With our entry-level commitment of two visits (thirty minutes each) we are confident we have an avenue for everyone to invest in their community without proving to be overwhelmed by a new process. Please consider our opportunity when looking for a way to give back to Bay County! We know our students would be so grateful.
Please contact Stacey Legg, Program Coordinator, at LEGGSL@bay.k12.fl.us or call (850) 767-4128 for more information.