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March 23, 2013 at midnight
Updated March 22, 2013 at 10:23 p.m.

Brett Barnett

TO VOLUNTEER

Want to become a mentor? Call the Victoria Business and Education Coalition at 361-572-8232 for more information on how to apply.

The Victoria Business and Education Coalition is honoring mentors who donate their time to work with students in Victoria schools.

This week's spotlight mentor is Bret Barnett, 41, who works at Citizens HealthPlex and is a mentor of one student at Victoria West High School.

How long have you been a mentor for the district?

Almost a year.

What made you decide to be a mentor?

Young people have so many messages coming at them today. Some do not have a stable home environment and little support. With support, encouragement and direction, many kids can succeed. I felt I should do my part to help even one student now and more in the future.

What do you feel you bring to the student?

Encouragement, support, problem solving skills, a "can-do attitude" and the peace of mind knowing that even a guy like me who is not good in math can succeed. The relationship also brings accountability to the student - he knows someone is going to ask about grades or other important things at the next meeting.

What do you enjoy most about mentoring?

I really enjoy the student I work with and see a lot of promise in him. I enjoy that I feel like I can make a small difference to a student that may impact the rest of his life. I think there are many kids who could reach their potential if they had someone to encourage them and tell them they can succeed along the way.

What have you learned from the student, educational system, etc. that has enlightened you?

It's not all doom and gloom. Sometimes we hear how young people don't care about school. I'm sure some don't, but there are some that do, and they need help reaching their goals. And teachers need our support and encouragement.

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