Celebrating Our Mentors

During National Mentoring Month this year, we are especially grateful for our volunteers, mentors, coaches, and positive role models who continue to go above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic to help successfully prepare all students for their futures!  

students with mentor at graduation It takes the support of the entire Kent School District community to achieve our vision of producing graduates who are ready to excel in college, careers, and in life. A big piece of that can be the support of a mentor. Research has shown that when students have a positive role model or mentor in their lives, they have better attendance, higher academic achievement, and fewer instances of negative behavior.

During remote learning, more than 40 Communities in Schools of Kent volunteers have continued to help support about 50 students during remote learning. One of the incredible mentors is Phillip Delapena. He began mentoring students at Kent Phoenix Academy about six years ago and has since helped dozens of students by helping start Sexuality and Gender Awareness (SAGA) meetings.

“SAGA creates a space for students to talk about things that may be difficult or hard to discuss with adults in their lives,” Delapena said. “Last year was the first time I’ve had students in SAGA for their whole high school career. The amount of growth from their freshman year to senior year is truly remarkable. I’d slowly see quiet students become comfortable with themselves and become leaders and contributors within their school.” 

Karen Hauck, the Communities in Schools of Kent’s Site Coordinator for  The Kent Academy said as soon as she met Delapena she knew he would be an incredible mentor to a group of students. 

“I floated the idea of forming an LGBTQ student support group with Phil as the facilitator and he jumped at it,” Hauck said. “The students change each year, but Phil remains a constant. He has created a space for LGBTQ+ students and their allies to gather for social interaction and to discuss issues of importance to them. We are so grateful for his support and mentorship.” 

Delapena said working with students has taught him more than he could have imagined. 

“You come into the program believing you will make an impression with students, but they end up making an impression on you,” he explained. “They really do learn from the things you say and do, and because of that, I strive to be the best version of myself every day.” 

Get Involved 

Thank you to all of our volunteering mentors who help our youth become the best students they can be. 

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit Communities in Schools or Glover Empower Mentoring to sign up.

In order to mentor, volunteers are required to complete an online application, including a background check through our Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) program before beginning service.

Article Source: Kent Meridian High School