“Stories of Champions” seeks to highlight a wide range of community leaders and everyday heroes who regularly dedicate their time, talent, and resources to developing positive relationships with young people in order to keep them on the road to success. "To be a mentor is one of the most effective ways to make a difference in the life of a young person. Whether a teacher, community volunteer, or neighbor, a mentor provides support, guidance, and caring to encourage, inspire, and develop young people and opens their minds and eyes to new opportunities. Mentoring relationships are long-term (at least 6 months) and involve regular communications between mentor and mentee." Examples of American Graduate Champions may be:• An elected official actively involved in the creation of programs for Florida students with a strong emphasis on mentoring;• A philanthropist with a long-standing commitment to youth mentorship;• A business owner who created a mentoring program for students;• An educator who mentors students both in and out of the classroom to achieve lasting results;• An entrepreneur creating internship and career mentoring opportunities narrowing the achievement gap.
The target areas that WJCT’s is focusing on for our American Graduate Champions are:Career Readiness and College CompletionCaring Consistent AdultsDropout Prevention and Re-engagement Early EducationMore and Better Learning Special Needs