An East Texas mentorship program is looking for those wanting to make a difference in a child's life. For almost two years, PATH has had its Kid Reach Program. With school starting soon, PATH is trying to pair every child on their waiting list with a mentor. The Kid Reach Program is an experience that will reward both a mentor and the child.
Shanice Mims, 12, has big goals in life. "I either want to go to art school, or I want to get my teacher certification," said Shanice. She lives in Tyler with her mother, brother and sister.
Being a single parent, Shanice's mother can't always be there for her, so that's where Shanice's mentor, Zee Schrubs, comes in.
"It's just volunteering your time and giving yourself," said Zee. "It makes you feel better and you know that you are making somebody's else's life better."
Zee has been Shanice's mentor since March. Today, they checked out the YMCA looking for new activities to do together.
"We've shopped," said Schrubs. "The first outing was kind of a get to know you outing."
"We went to the Special Olympics, like kind of Olympics for special people," said Shanice.
PATH's Kid Reach Program Coordinator, Pam McGee, says anyone with time and a caring heart can be a mentor.
"I have so many people that tell me I'm not special," said McGee. "I'm not Einstein, and I'm not wonderful at this and that. You don't have to be. This person (mentor) is someone that lets them (child) know they are special. They are helping them set goals and achieve potential."
Shanice says she's learned a lot from Zee. "We should give back to the community," said Shanice. "It's good and it makes us feel good. It's important to be a role model to people younger than you."
The Kid Reach Program, Zee says has been just as rewarding for her. "It's one of the best things I've ever done, short of being a parent," said Zee. "This is the next best thing if you want to give back to the community."
PATH says it especially needs male mentors at this time. If you're interested in learning more about the Kid Reach Program call PATH. PATH serves the Smith County area.