Local News

Mentoring Can Make The Difference In The Life Of A Child

Posted March 12, 2001

— The temptation to get into trouble is hard for teenagers to resist, but one local program is turning its attention to positive role models.

Twelve-year-old Randy and his mentor, Anthony Pellegrino, are catching up on lost time. Randy is being raised by his mother and the two or three days a week he spends with Anthony is a link to the big brother he does not have.

"He talks to me about school and college," Randy says.

The two have been building a relationship for the past two years. They clicked almost immediately.

"It's rewarding to know that I'm trying to help him out. He knows that he has a friend, and he can come to me with any questions he ever has anytime, so it just works out really well," Pellegrino says.

Johnnathan Ward heads up theGeorgia Fatherhood program. It gets men back to the business of raising, nurturing, loving and caring for their children. Ward says boys need to see those qualities in their elders.

"I like to say we do it because of the children," he says. "If they don't have a male in their life, it doesn't have to be their father. If they don't have a male in their life to model that for them, where are they going to learn it?"

The Georgia Fatherhood program helps men who have fallen on hard times -- some of them in trouble. It offers judges an option. It gets the men back in school, usually a technical school and then puts them to work.

This way, they can start supporting their children and re-connecting with them.


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