Graduation Matters Program in Kalispell Seeks Community Mentors

By Beacon Staff

The Graduation Matters Kalispell team is ready to launch the next phase of their efforts to reduce dropout rates in Kalispell schools by teaming up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County.

The two organizations are seeking 50 new mentors from the community and local businesses this summer before providing them with training in September. The mentors will then be matched with students who are struggling to stay in school and share a similar interest with their mentor to explore possible career choices after graduation.

Among the thousands of children in Kalispell Public Schools, there are students who don’t graduate – not because they lack skills or ability, but because they have been unable to connect with teachers and other adults, or do not know how to ask for help.

Graduation Matters Montana is part of a statewide initiative launched by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau to target drop-outs, and increase awareness about the importance of graduation. A grant award allowed Kalispell to take a first step and launch its own Graduation Matters program with an I-Pledge to Graduate event last February attended by 650 eighth graders.

Some of these students have faced immense challenges and need someone to believe in them. They need positive adults in their lives to help show them the way and listen to their needs. Increased time with responsible adults who model constructive behaviors can help them grow into healthier lives and set them on a path to success.

Graduation Matters Kalispell is asking our community for volunteers who are caring adults. For those interested, contact 751-3432, or visit here. All volunteers will receive training and ongoing support in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County.

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