Loving Thy Neighbor Through Mentoring

By: Pastor Steve Mayo
In recognition of National Mentoring Month, Pastor Steve Mayo shares about the impact of The Life Mentoring Program – a growing collaborative effort between CCA and Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Through this program, CCA high schoolers have been able to visit neighboring schools to mentor students, all while sharing the love of Jesus Christ. You too can make a difference in our local schools; read this article to learn how!

Making disciples in a biblical school environment is a mission that Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) has been committed to for over 20 years. At Calvary, we like to define a disciple as a fully devoted, reproducing follower of Jesus Christ.

As CCA students receive the tools, opportunities, and guidance needed to develop their God-given gifts, they blossom into Christian leaders who are equipped to make disciples wherever God plants them, further expanding the Kingdom of God.

Simply put, discipleship is mentorship. The Bible shows us many examples of fruitful mentor-mentee relationships: Jethro and Moses, Mordecai and Esther, and Eli and Samuel (just to name a few). These biblical mentors devoted time to imparting wisdom and guidance as well as sharing life together with their protégés.

Beginning this school year, high school students at CCA have been able to serve their community and share the love of Jesus by mentoring students in nearby public and charter schools.

INVESTING IN NEIGHBORING SCHOOLS


 
The Life Mentoring Program was established in 2018 by Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s (CCFL) Education Vision Team and began as a request from Robert C. Markham Elementary School in Pompano Beach. The program received this name because when you mentor someone, you are sharing a part of your life with someone else in order to change their life.
when you mentor someone, you are sharing a part of your life with someone else in order to change their life.
This collaborative effort between CCA and CCFL has expanded into a total of five schools within a 10-minute radius of Calvary. This past fall, more than 120 CCA high school students signed up to serve as mentors at Markham Elementary, William Dandy Middle School, Innovation Charter School, and Purpose Academy.

These student mentors have been trained by CCA’s school counselors, and many of them have mentored for multiple years in high school. One such student is Katie Clawson, a senior at CCA.

“Mentoring for these past two years has given me a new perspective on speaking into others’ lives. These girls’ perspectives often caused me to think more deeply about the way I viewed things and it was amazing to grow closer with them and see them open up each week.”

Mentoring is done on a weekly basis during fall and spring sessions that last four-to-six weeks. CCA students play ice breaker games with the students, engage in conversation, and enjoy a meal together. A guest speaker, oftentimes a CCA teacher, also presents about the character value of the week. At the end of the mentoring session for that semester, the students are invited to a culminating event at CCFL.

“Mentoring has had a huge impact on our campus, and the social and emotional benefit to our students has been felt, as well as the positive effects of mutually beneficial exchanges between students,” said Ayanna Whitworth-Barner, an assistant principal at William Dandy Middle School.
Mentoring has had a huge impact on our campus, and the social and emotional benefit to our students has been felt
When CCA students meet with their mentees, they discuss key character values that are designed to build integrity and strengthen students socially and emotionally.

LOOKING TO GET INVOLVED?


The anecdotal testimonies in this article align with what research tells us about the value of mentoring. A study published by Child Trends, the nation’s leading research organization focused on improving the lives of children and youth, revealed that:

“Mentored youth are likely to have fewer absences from school, better attitudes towards school, fewer incidents of hitting others, less drug and alcohol use, more positive attitudes toward their elders and toward helping in general, and improved relationships with their parents” (Jekielek, Moore, Hair & Scarupa, 2002).

And according to Patterson (2020), numerous studies have reported the academic, emotional, and social improvement of students whose schools partnered with faith-based organizations.

If God is leading you to come alongside us as we endeavor to bless our local schools and youth, consider serving on CCFL’s education vision team! There are other schools in the area that would like to be a part of this growing program, however, more volunteers are needed in order to make this a reality.

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37

New schools are being added this spring, and we are seeking CCA parents who would like to serve alongside their teenagers! Please email me at SteveM@CCAEagles.org for more information. Any CCA high schoolers who are not currently mentors but are interested in serving in the Life Mentoring Program should connect with myself or their school counselor; this program is eligible for community service hours.

Everyone is welcome to explore involvement opportunities with First Priority South Florida – a Christian organization that organizes after-school clubs on public school campuses where students can discuss faith in a fun environment and get connected with a local church.

Please pray that God continues to use the Life Mentoring Program as well as other initiatives as a way to extend His love and hope to our neighboring community.

 
Pastor Steve Mayo serves as the Director of Discipleship at CCA. He also collaborates with the Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale's Six78 and HSM youth ministries, and assists with overseeing the church’s Vision 2023 Education Team. He and his wife Morgan have three children who attend CCA — Titus, Quincy, and Maxwell.

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