Thursday, January 15, 2015 07:00 PM


Scooter Swanson will confess, there was some reluctance when presented with the idea of becoming a mentor to a young student at Dalton’s Roan School.Two years later, he will admit something else.“It has been a life-changing experience for me,” he said. “Doing things with Preston (Smith, his partner student) is great. Being able to see the way his attitude has changed, and how his schoolwork has improved, is absolutely wonderful.”Carolyn Hawkins became a mentor last year. She said she’s been blown away, too.“My husband died last year, and I just needed something in my life,” she said. “I was partnered with Maddie (Smith), and she has been exactly what I needed. Maddie has been a good little buddy to me.”The program at Roan School partners students — many of whom have been identified as kids in need of another adult figure in their lives — with community members who serve as the mentors, or “buddies.” Many of the buddies come from Rock Bridge Community Church, which originally partnered with the school to form the program little more than a year and a half ago.Currently, there are 25 mentors in the program, which has expanded to include Big Brothers Big Sisters ...

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