Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Success comes through support, effort

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 25, 2013 at 5:25 a.m.

Mentors fill important roles in our society. Many of our best and brightest remember someone special who coached, counseled and encouraged them in their efforts to become the person they are today.

Victoria students are fortunate to have mentors and support through the Victoria Business and Education Coalition. VBEC is changing lives of future generations in Victoria's schools through its mentorship programs, including a partnership with the University of Houston-Victoria. Fifty UHV students go to one of six VISD schools once a week to tutor the students with reading. The program, called Helping One Student to Succeed, or H.O.S.T.S., focuses on three different components when teaching students how to read: reading, vocabulary and comprehension, Felicia Sledge, the Hopkins H.O.S.T.S. program coordinator and instructor explained in a previous article.

This commitment to teaching and raising the confidence of students in Victoria is vital for future success, and it's exciting to see our community working together toward this effort. VBEC has a long, proud history of connecting the business world with the education of our students. According to the VBEC website, volunteers have taken part in more than 7,000 30-minute mentoring and tutoring sessions. Research shows that students who have a connection with a caring adult are more inspired to stay in school, achieve their goals, build relationships and develop positive self-esteem. Mentoring also enhances learning skills and improves academic performance.

We are proud to see Victoria's business leaders, university students and the community at large taking part in this important program. Over the years, the Victoria Advocate has profiled many of the community members who dedicate a small portion of their time every week to mentor and tutor a child through VBEC. Recently, Tre Gray, a former Cuero High School football star who was once signed by the Arizona Cardinals, spoke at Mitchell Guidance Center in an effort to reach some of the troubled teens there. In his talk, he emphasized the need for dreams and acting on those desires to achieve big things in life.

This is the kind of message students today need to hear from adults. Every day, kids face a world that pushes the concept of easy money and looking for the easy way out. But the truth is, life is not easy, and dreams will not come true on their own. Students need to be encouraged as they learn how to push forward and reach their goals in spite of the road blocks and mistakes.

We applaud all of the mentors and volunteers who work with VBEC and VISD. Thank you for serving the next generation and setting an example for us all. We hope you will be a positive influence for the children you mentor and an inspiration to other community members to get involved.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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