Teens need motivation

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015

All teens could use some motivation, encouragement and inspiration, and those who struggle with things like problems at home, academics, discipline and attendance need it even more.

That’s the idea behind the “Day of Motivation and Encouragement” held on Dec. 18 by the Cavalier Male Mentoring Program at Lakeland High School.

It was the last day before Christmas break, a day when — let’s be honest — little actual instruction happens in school for practical reasons. The students are wound up, the teachers are exhausted, and nobody wants to be there.

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But during the Day of Motivation and Encouragement, about 35 local men did in fact want to be at school. They were the professionals that Assistant Principal Tina Paul had rounded up from all walks of life to inspire her students.

They ranged in age from college seniors to retired professionals. Pastors, educators, military, law enforcement and others all gathered to provide some life lessons to a hand-selected group of young men at Lakeland in need of some extra encouragement.

The participants were asked to share personal and professional experiences with success and failure to connect with the students, Paul said. The men impressed upon the teens how important it is for them to finish high school and find a positive path after high school, whether that be college, the military or a career.

Paul hopes the program can be repeated and even expanded. She also hopes the program will lead to some more mentors who can work with young men at the school on an ongoing basis. Few men are willing or able to commit the time, she said.

Paul and Lakeland are to be applauded for putting together this program, as are all of the men who volunteered their time to attend. We hope more men will decide to become a bigger part of the mentoring program and help keep students on the right path.