StuGo leads elementary mentor initiative


Photo taken by Jenny Kim.

Jenny Kim, Staff Writer

Rochester High School started a new mentoring program for elementary school students called Rochester Reaching Out. It is a Covid friendly mentor program that connects high schoolers and elementary schoolers over zoom. Elementary school students will have the opportunity to bond with their mentors, who will support them through this time.

Rochester Reaching Out is run by the Mental Health Committee from Stugo, with the Head being Carly Jones and Chair Mori Tillman. 

Students at RHS from all grades got the opportunity to fill out an application to be mentors. Some of the feeder elementary schools can join this program, including Meadow Brook, Long Meadow, and University Hills.

This program started when a mom of an elementary school student reached out to Mrs. Cusmano, RHS Student Council advisor, about how her child struggled from not being able to see her friends everyday. To help combat this issue, a meeting was set up between the elementary school student and a student council member. With the good outcome, Stugo was determined to enhance this idea into a bigger project.

“We decided to spread this out to our feeder schools and create an event out of it,” Head of Mental Health Committee Carly Jones said.

Mentors of Rochester Reaching Out will be paired with a student from one of the feeder elementary schools. A schedule will be set for the mentor and the buddy to meet over zoom where they can introduce themselves and brainstorm different ideas for their next meetup. 

Mentors are expected to meet with their buddy at least twice a month, and some fun activities include crafts, coloring, or even homework help.

Despite COVID, this virtual mentoring program will benefit both the mentors and the elementary school buddies as they build new connections and do various activities as they meet over Zoom.

“I know a lot of kids are struggling right now, so I’m excited to be there for them as someone to talk to and someone to help them,” mentor Megan Baker said.