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June Featured Volunteer Opportunity: Be a Mentor!

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May 29, 2013
by Jennifer Howell

Smiling Little Boy 

As part of the effort to reach our community goal of 90% on-time high school graduation by 2020, United Way of Anchorage has been working in two schools and we are in need of mentors at Lake Hood and Susitna Elementary Schools. If you can give a little time, it'll make a whole lot of difference.


Working in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are recruiting adults to be school-based mentors in these two schools for the 2013-2014 school year.  Although it’s just an hour a week, the time is well spent.  Students have another adult they can talk to, relate to, and someone who gives them their full, undivided attention.  Mentors can help with school work if that’s what they decide to do, but they can also just hang out and spend time in a recreational activity with their “Big.”


Sue Brogan with United Way of Anchorage is leading the effort to recruit 20 mentors for each school.  “In order to be ready for the new school year, we are recruiting over the summer so that we’re ready to go in mid-August when the new school year begins.  The students have been identified and will ready to start the relationship. We ask for a year-long commitment, which for site based mentoring, coincides with the school year.”


Students and mentors meet once a week for an hour on school grounds or at school activities. Support is provided both by Big Brothers Big Sisters and Sue as the year progresses.


One of our current mentors, Chris Grgich, sums up his experience this way, “All the good things in our lives are carried in a bucket. But there are people and circumstances in this world that will poke holes in your bucket, making those good things drop out.  And many students identified in this program have a lot of holes in their bucket.  What the mentors in this program strive to do is add as much as we can to those buckets.  But sometimes, what ends up happening through time spent together, is the mentor’s bucket gets filled up, too.”

To raise your hand and be a mentor follow these links:


Lake Hood Elementary School (3601 W 40th Ave)


Susitna Elementary School (7500 Tyone Ct)