UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives hosts San Antonio Mentoring Forum

mentoring forum

From left are San Antonio Mentoring Forum members Barbie Leal-Hallam (Big Brothers Big Sisters), Ilsa Garcia (Communities in Schools), Stephen Martinez (DARS), Claudette Lewis (Cherice Cochrane Mentoring For Success Foundation), Joseph Kenney (Department of Aging and Disability Services), Belinda Saldana (UTSA P-20 Initiatives), Julie Laijas (Department of Aging and Disability Services) and Kiersty Duncan (Communities in Schools).

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(Sept. 6, 2012) -- The San Antonio Mentoring Forum recently hosted 12 people from eight organizations at Café College for its first annual meeting, which featured two San Antonio mentoring programs that are having a tremendous effect on young students.

The mentoring programs created by Big Brothers Big Sisters and Communities in Schools offer a supportive one-on-one atmosphere to help at-risk students graduate from high school, reach their greatest potential and become positive contributors to the community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, headquartered in San Antonio, is one of the 10 largest agencies of the national organization. Serving the Bexar County since 1978, the organization provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-on-one mentoring relationships that forever change their lives for the better.

Communities in Schools of San Antonio was established in 1985 by a group of concerned community leaders to address the city's alarmingly high dropout rate. The organization provides a positive environment for at-risk students by ensuring their access to educational opportunities, social services and support services.

"It's great that UTSA is bringing mentoring organizations together so that we can learn from each other and not have to reinvent the wheel," said Claudette Lewis of the Cherice Cochrane Mentoring for Success Foundation.

The San Antonio Mentoring Forum is a UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives program and serves as an informal group for mentoring organizations and mentoring advocates. It is a place where groups such as Communities in Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, school districts, faith-based organizations, businesses and other mentoring advocates come together to share mentoring information, promote mentoring awareness and foster collaboration in the mentoring community. The forum is a UTSA mentoring initiative and focuses on one-to-one mentoring for youths in Bexar County. The SAMF will host a mentoring summit Jan. 11, 2013, for which it is now accepting proposals.

For more information about mentoring opportunities in San Antonio or the Mentoring Summit, visit the San Antonio Mentoring Forum website.