New Mentoring Program Coming to Matanzas High School

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 3:32pm

Flagler Schools was recently notified the district has been approved for grant funding to further support our African American Mentoring Program with the “Men in the Making” curriculum at Matanzas High School. The effort was led by Vernon Orndorff, Executive Director of Leadership Development for Flagler Schools and Dr. Earl Johnson, Principal of Matanzas High School.

According to Orndorff, this “Came from talking with Dr. Johnson and trying to figure out how can we continue supporting our existing African American Mentoring Program at Matanzas while helping students who have been identified as needing extra supports in and out of the classroom.” The grant funding comes from CAMP Osprey Leadership Mentoring Program at the University of North Florida, which is led by Dr. Matthew Ohlson.

20 students in 9th and 10th grades will take part in the first session of the “Men in the Making” program in the coming weeks. They will meet for a half-hour each week with their mentor during the lunch hour. “After-school activities are always a challenge in Flagler County because of transportation issues,” says Dr. Johnson. He adds, “Moving these sessions to the lunch period removes yet another barrier for these students to get the services they need.”

The “Men in the Making” program is a three-year program designed to teach these students life skills and character traits. By the third year, it is hoped these “mentees” will then help become “mentors” to a new class of students. Mr. Orndorff says “Having this peer-to-peer mentoring opportunity should open new lines of communications and allow students new to the program see first-hand what can be accomplished with the right support system in place.”

“1Million MEN IN THE MAKING” was founded by Jonathan Catherman, an author and senior education consultant. He developed the MEN IN THE MAKING Clubs in collaboration with Dr. Ohlson. The program is designed to help a student with educational, athletic, workforce preparedness and community engagement.

Flagler Schools has seen what effect mentoring programs can have on students and we are excited to have another program in place to help our teens. The ultimate goal is to expand this to include young women as well as establishing it on the Flagler Palm Coast High School campus.