Mentoring Program Helping Students Succeed

by Larry Little

Nationwide thousands of students drop out of school every year. Some of those students are in the Nacogdoches ISD, but a local mentoring program is hoping to put a stop to drop out rate.

Solid Foundation in Nacogdoches is hoping to give at risk students a solid foundation in education and help them become more than statistics. "What we are trying to do is affect the entire Nacogdoches community. Our goal is to work with kids primarily from single family households that are struggling with academics to enable them to advance in school and ultimately be productive members of the Nacogdoches community," says John Cannings.

Everyday John Cannings spends hours with students at Solid Foundation. The students come from challenging walks of life, but the after school program teaches your environment shouldn't affect your education. "We empower the kids right where they are and let them know that not because you live in a community, that's not who you are, who you are comes from within and we will be here to help you succeed," says Cannings.

Volunteers say they know the program works because students in the NISD who otherwise wouldn't have graduated are now success stories. "I was blessed when I was young to have someone take time with me, a foster mother and it made a difference. I'd like to make a difference. I believe most young people are not bad or evil, they just need a leg up. They just need someone who will take time with them," says volunteer John Davis.

Six students will graduate from Nacogdoches high school this year that attended the program.