21 Aug 2014
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At-Risk Youth Overcome Barriers through the Mazie Mentoring Program

At-Risk Youth Overcome Barriers through the Mazie Mentoring Program

WALTHAM, Mass. – This June, 13 mentees of the Mazie Mentoring Program, who were once considered at-risk of not realizing their full potential in school and in life, will proudly accept their diplomas and celebrate their ability to take charge of their futures at their commencement. On June 5, all graduating mentees were honored during Waltham High School’s scholarship award night. Mentees who plan to continue their education by attending college or another post-secondary training program will be eligible to receive a $2,000 scholarship from the John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation (JAMMF).

JAMMF is a nonprofit organization that operates the Mazie Mentoring Program and is dedicated to enabling youths at-risk to become adults of promise. As participants of the program, students were paired with adult volunteer mentors in their sophomore year to help them improve their academic standing, build confidence, apply to college and experience success.  Over the course of five semesters, students worked to set and achieve goals, participated in community service initiatives and built relationships with their mentors, while earning rewards along the way. 

During Waltham High School’s scholarship award night, graduating mentees received a letter stating they qualify to receive a $2,000 scholarship to be paid in $500 installments over the course of four years. To receive their first installment, students must submit a letter of admission to some post-secondary institution. For each of the following years, students must submit their transcripts to JAMMF to show their academic progress.

“JAMMF’s Board and staff are extremely proud of the positive progress of all of our graduating mentees, especially the ones who will be the first in their extended family to attend college,” says Founder and Executive Director Lowell Mazie.

In the last 16 years, the Mazie Mentoring Program, a unique goal-oriented scholarship award giving program, has helped more than 500 young people go on to lead more fulfilled and successful lives while inspiring the adult volunteer mentors who work with them. More than 90 percent of those in the program graduate from high school and more than 70 percent go on to college or other post-secondary training programs.

The Mazie Mentoring Program accepts 60 Framingham and Waltham High School students each year. Framingham and Waltham are economically and ethnically diverse communities where students speak more than 50 languages. Seventy-five percent of Mazie’s mentee population is either of Hispanic, Portuguese-speaking, Brazilian, Haitian or African-American heritages. Sixty-seven percent qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches. 

“The Mazie Mentoring Program and other similar programs are crucial to society in terms of the ripple effect their success can have in the future,” says Mazie. “By changing one child’s life, you potentially impact thousands of other people who come in contact with that child for the rest of his or her life.”

JAMMF is publicly funded through events, grants, corporate support and individual donations. Applications for volunteer mentors are always gratefully accepted. Mentor/mentee matchups take place each spring and fall. For more information, to donate or to become a mentor, visit www.mazie.org or contact Lowell Mazie, Executive Director at maziefdn@comcast.net.

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