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Editorial: Mentoring program is worth striving for

Elsewhere in this edition of the Independent Town Pages there is a story about STRIVE, a Rotary-run mentorship program that pairs adults with high school seniors who are at risk of missing graduation.

The program’s name is an acronym for Students Taking Renewed Interest Valuing Education, and in some ways it really is that simple. By getting kids to buy in to the idea they can learn, it helps turn around academic careers.

The difference it can make in a student’s life is remarkable. In both Rosemount — where this week’s featured pair is located — and Farmington it has been invaluable in helping students make dramatic changes.

There’s no big secret to the program. The Rotary members are there to provide a kind of support that is sometimes lacking in these students’ lives. They help teach organizational skills, or setting and keeping schedules. Sometimes it’s as simple as letting a student know someone believes in them.

That kind of support has time after time helped students go from nearly dropping out to earning honors. All in the course of just a few months.

There are benefits for the Rotarians as well. Seeing a student make that kind of turnaround is inspirational.

“I know this is where I’m supposed to be,” said Nickie Carrigan, the mentor featured in this week’s story.

She and the student she is paired with are already seeing changes.

There are other efforts like this that exist to help local students. They all play a role in turning out the most successful students possible.

For a school district, they are invaluable.