STARS Mentor Program creates supportive in-school partnerships

“Ultimately, being in the mentoring program has meant so much for me,” White said. “Having a mentor has given me a path to where I’m going and how to get there and given me so much more peace of mind.”

In fewer than 24 hours each year, Round Rock ISD mentors have the ability to change lives, build relationships and lift self-esteem of children across the district.

The Supporting Teaching And Reaching Students (STARS) Mentor Program, hosted through RRISD Counseling Services, is a school-based program for students who would benefit from the positive influence a mentor can bring to their life.

More than 250 students are currently benefiting from adult mentors across the district and the program is accepting new mentors at all times. Round Rock ISD Mentor Coordinator Dawn Steele hopes to increase the number of mentors in the district to serve all 47,000 students.

“We are coaching kids to become the best that they can be,” Steele said. “To see the change in the kids from when they begin the program is amazing, and if mentors can take a kid and follow them for several years, it’s huge.”

Mentors meet weekly with their mentee for 30 minutes, often over lunch, and help hone social, emotional and academic skills. Mentors are screened, trained and carefully matched with students to create a smooth relationship.

Stony Point High School Senior Zac White has been partnered with a mentor for four years while navigating the International Baccalaureate Programme. While the focus of his mentor visits has mostly been academics, White said talking about life and the stress of high school helped him get through difficult times.

“Ultimately, being in the mentoring program has meant so much for me,” White said. “Having a mentor has given me a path to where I’m going and how to get there and given me so much more peace of mind.”

RRISD Fine Arts Budget Specialist Dianna Guyette has been a STARS Mentor for four years and is one of 82 RRISD staff members in the program. Gueyette, who previously worked at Blackland Prairie Elementary School, missed the day-to-day student connection and has mentored two students at C.D. Fulkes Middle School.

“It fulfills me to know that a struggling student has some extra support,” Guyette said. “I have a gift of being able to talk to students and working with them. I can relate to what their struggles are and know that a mentoring relationship makes a difference.”

Individuals interested in mentoring can get more information Feb. 26 at “Coffee for Conversation,” held 9-10 a.m. at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, Room 101, 10211 W. Parmer Lane, Austin.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_cta h2=”Ready to be a Mentor?” add_button=”right” btn_title=”Learn more/apply” btn_color=”blue” add_icon=”left” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-star” i_background_style=”rounded” i_background_color=”white” i_size=”lg” btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Froundrockisd.org%2Fdepartments%2Fcounseling-services%2Fstars-mentor-program%2F|title:https%3A%2F%2Froundrockisd.org%2Fdepartments%2Fcounseling-services%2Fstars-mentor-program%2F|” i_on_border=”true”]S.T.A.R.S. Supporting, Teaching and Reaching Students is a school-based program for students who would benefit from the positive influence a mentor can bring to their life.

Mentoring a child is a way for community members and businesses to volunteer. When you volunteer as a mentor you not only discover new things about yourself but you provide a friendship to a child who needs and wants the positive influence you can offer.