ATLANTA — Right now, a new pilot program called "Passport to Success," is placing mentors into Carver STEAM Academy in South Atlanta to help Freshman students.
"Sometimes our young people don't realize they're leaders, whether they're leading in a wrong way or leading in a positive way--they are leaders," said Derrick Hill, lead Mentor in Passport to Success.
Hill says this program helps them lead the right way. The pilot program kicked off at Carver STEAM about five weeks ago. Hill says it is geared toward Freshman boys since their transition from middle school to high school was disrupted.
"The 9th grade is so important because we've been in a pandemic for two years, and so from a realistic standpoint many of (them) have been virtual since middle school," said Hill.
The goal is to keep these students in school and on track and focused on the future.
"We're focusing on leadership, self-esteem, self-awareness, image, workforce development," said Hill.
So far, 30 students are taking part, like Khari Simmons.
"I used to dress to impress other people and now I dress to impress myself," said Simmons.
Brandon Copeland is also in the program. He says this program helped him realize the influence these students have on each other.
"How to lead other folks into not doing something, and doing something, such as skipping class you have to lead them--not to skip class and get your grades," said Copeland.
Hill says the mentors come from all different industries from I.T. to entrepreneurs. And this program takes place during the school day, which helps with two things--it eliminates transportation as an issue, and it reaches them while they are open to learning.
"The mentoring aspect of it is really intimate, where we get a chance to really get involved and engage and talk and ask questions and share," said Hill.
"Really it should be in all schools...to help other people lead to the right path," said Copeland.
While right now this mentor program is only at Carver STEAM, Hill says their goal is to expand it into high schools across metro Atlanta.
To learn more about the program, click here.