Tom Joad's Place

Welcome to Tom Joad's Place! Join me for political discussion and banter on important national subjects and VA politics. I've also noticed that there are a lot of people looking for information on "Grapes of Wrath". Look for the sidebar and we'll discuss. Contact Kevin, at

Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mentoring in Fredericksburg

I saw an article in my old hometown newspaper The Free-Lance Star yesterday.

This article by Jeff Branscome talks about a new mentoring program called STAR (Students Taking Action and Responsibility) that is happening at James Monroe High School. Teachers volunteer at least one hour a week with a kid that is having a rough go of it in the community. Not only do the kids get an extra person to talk and bounce issues off of, the program has a scholarship incentive that can help them start a college education. It is funded by philanthropist Doris Buffett who gives through her foundation a $1,000 scholarship as long as the student does not get in trouble for the year and maintains a 2.5 GPA. Students can earn up to $4,000 if they continue with the program through high school.

Forty students are currently in STAR; so this can cost up to $160,000 over four years. But the benefits of having young adults out of trouble and safe far outweigh the monetary costs. Fairfax County...are you taking note? Is there anyone in the community that would be willing to make this happen for a school here or in your community?

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