Program highlight: Springfield School Volunteers

It's the weekend, and we're psyched for Mentoring Day at Fenway on Monday! Today's Red Sox Mentoring Challenge program is Springfield School Volunteers (SSV). Judy Donahue is the program manager there.

MMP: Tell us a little about your mentoring program and your role.

Judy: I am the program manager for the SSV mentoring program, which is a school-based program with a district-wide mentoring program for school staff. There are 298 mentors in all. Most of our mentors are focused in middle and high schools, but we do have mentors in the elementary schools, too.

MMP: Why do you feel mentoring is important?

Judy: As a large urban school district, we have many students who do not have strong role models. Our program attempts to provide caring adults who can serve as role models and promote academic achievement and consistent attendance in school.

MMP: Your program is participating in this year’s Red Sox Mentoring Challenge, an initiative designed recruit more caring Massachusetts adults as mentors. Which Red Sox player do you think is the best mentor on the team?

Judy: Although my favorite player is Jacoby Ellsbury, I think that Jason Varitek, as team captain, would provide the most leadership.

MMP: What do you think is the most important thing people should know if they are thinking about becoming a mentor?

Judy: I tell our mentors that it takes time to develop the relationship. Patience is the key. You may not see the results of your efforts for some time. Our students often have a hard time trusting. If you are consistent, you will eventually gain your student’s trust. AND – don’t forget to have fun!

MMP: How can people learn more about mentoring opportunities with your organization?

Judy: Visit our web site to learn more about Springfield School Volunteers. You can also call 413-787-7015 or find us on Facebook.