STARS Mentoring Program Presentation Given at School Board Meeting

A STARS Mentoring Program update was shared at the Storm Lake School Board meeting on Wednesday.

Coordinator Angie Woodford said the program started in 2008 with help from a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education…(audio clip below :28 )

Woodford said STARS began as a 4th through 8th grade mentoring program, and the first mentee graduated in 2013. Since then, 86 seniors have graduated that continued meeting with a mentor through high school, and 60 of them received a scholarship. The program developed a booster board that allows them to offer scholarships to students. Woodford said the majority of students in the program are going on to pursue a secondary education, and several have graduated with four-year degrees. Woodford said four Storm Lake High School students received University of Iowa scholarships during the previous school year, and three of them were mentees in the program.

Board member Brad Reichter is the program’s treasurer, and has been a mentor for the last few years…(audio clip below :17 )

Board member Deb Dehaan urged the school board to support expansion of the program…(audio clip below :24 )

STARS, which stands for “Striving Towards All Reaching Success” is certified through the state. Woodford said pre-COVID, they had 90 to one-hundred mentor-mentee matches, and they’ve slowly been building back up. She said a majority of kids in the program aren’t getting referred, and are asking for a mentor. She said they especially have a need for male mentors.