New Mentoring Program Opens Doors for CCHS Students

Catherine Cossaboom, Staff writer

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Recently, a new mentoring program was created to serve CCHS freshmen and sophomores in their high school careers. Chamblee Charter High School’s counseling department partnered up with a couple of local organizations to offer an opportunity that promises to provide many important benefits. Counselors Lisandra Latorre and Anna Holloman are the CCHS coordinators of the program.

“Chamblee Charter High School, Cox Enterprises and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta have teamed up to provide an exciting opportunity for a new and different mentoring program,” said Latorre. “Big Brothers Big Sisters calls it ‘Beyond School Walls.’ CCHS students will be matched to a Cox Big Brother or Big Sister Mentor and will be transported to Cox Enterprises every other week to meet with their Big Brother or Big Sister Mentor.”

Latorre hopes that these mentors can provide support and serve as a positive influence on the students.

“The goal is to provide participating CCHS students with caring and positive adult role models,” said Latorre.

Cox Enterprises is a large Atlanta-based communications and automotive services company that also owns local television stations, radio stations, and newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It has been involved in CCHS for a long time, a partnership that is even proudly displayed on a sign outside the school gym. The partnership with the Atlanta chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters [BBBS], one of the country’s largest nonprofit mentoring organizations, is newer.

“Cox has provided volunteer mentors for CCHS students in the past but this is the first time we are having a 3-way partnership with [BBBS] and we are very excited,” said Latorre. “Chamblee is the only school that provides this program through Cox.”

The program is run mainly through the volunteer efforts of both organizations.

“[BBBS] Metro Atlanta Chapter is partnering with Cox and CCHS to match students with mentors provided by volunteer Cox employees; they are also providing volunteer training and information to Cox mentors,” said Latorre. “The Counseling Department is recruiting and collaborating with Big Brothers Big Sisters to implement the program.”

Students will visit Cox Enterprises for various activities and meet with their mentors.

“Cox is providing the mentors, who are Cox employee volunteers,” said Latorre. “Participants will also be transported to Cox Enterprises twice a month to meet with their mentor and participate in various programs and workshops at the Cox Offices.”

Students will also receive additional benefits, such as exposure to the business world and frequent correspondences between their mentors and their parents. Once they join, they commit to the program for one year.

An information letter states: “Volunteers spend time with the child they are mentoring, talking and exposing them to the corporate world. BBBS would contact parents once per quarter to check on the match’s progress.”

The counseling department is still actively recruiting students. To sign up, students can visit Ms. Lisandra Latorre or Ms. Anna Holloman in the counseling office to receive the information letter. They will also pick up a mentee application, to be completed by both parents and students.

The counseling department has a very positive outlook for the program.

“We hope to fulfill the ultimate goal of the program and provide an exciting CCHS mentorship experience, in addition to forming a stronger relationship with the Big Brother Big Sister Program in the Chamblee Community through this collaboration with CCHS,” said Latorre.

If you are interested in applying, you can download the PDF application here.

As of the time of publication, the applications are still being accepted.