One hundred eight community partnerships will share $9.4 million to mentor approximately 40,000 Ohio students in the latest round of grants in the Community Connectors school mentorship program. Since July 2015, 216 community partnerships have been awarded $19.2 million for programs that give more Ohio students access to role models who can motivate and inspire them and help them develop skills that lead to success in school and the workplace.
“The best thing we can do as adults is pass our wisdom on to the next generation — and Community Connectors makes that happen,” said Dr. Susan Tave Zelman, current executive director for the program and former state superintendent of public instruction. “I’ve seen the benefits of this program firsthand, and we’re making a real difference in the lives of students across the state. They’re learning valuable knowledge and skills that will help them be successful at both school and their future careers.”
In his 2014 State of the State address, Gov. John Kasich outlined a new proposal to bring together families, community organizations, faith- or values-based organizations, businesses and others in support of our schools and to mentor students. From that proposal, Community Connectors was developed and passed by the Ohio General Assembly.
Since July 2015, approximately 14,000 students have been guided by 5,300 mentors, and more than 67,000 one-to-one mentoring hours were logged. Mentors also have provided approximately 91,000 hours of group activities with students. In all, 45 of Ohio’s 88 counties are or have been home to one or more Community Connectors grants.
The state received 123 applications for funding during this round, and each application included a business, civic and values-based partner organization. The program provides $3 for every $1 provided by local partnerships for activities specifically associated with one-to-one mentoring.
Among the diverse businesses, nonprofits and other groups coming together to help mentor students in 35 counties are: U.S. Bank, Brown County Agricultural Society, Dayton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Siemens PLM Software, Stark State University, The Cleveland Foundation, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, Great Lakes Science Center, The Mentoring Center of Central Ohio, OSU Medical Center, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Donatos, Macys, ProMedica Health System, Youngstown State University, Kiwanis, Tri-Star Compact, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pickaway-Ross Career and Technical Center, Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, and The Kroger Company.
A look at today’s winning applicants is available by clicking here.