The Coral Springs Police Department’s Youth Mentoring Program was established in 1996 as part of a three-year grant with a partnership between the Department of Juvenile Justice, the City of Coral Springs Police Department and the School Board of Broward County. The goals and objectives of the program are to improve school attendance and classroom behavior, improve academic performance, establish an ongoing relationship with an adult, develop decision-making skills and develop career interests. In 1999, after the grant expired, the program was incorporated into the Police Department’s budget while expanding services.
The three program services include:
- Business mentoring: A middle school student is matched with a Business Mentor/volunteer to establish a relationship at the work site. The student has the opportunity to learn and apply work skills. The student and mentor work together for a nine-week mentoring term, approximately two hours per week.
- The Mentor Speakers Bureau: This is a membership for mentors/volunteers to participate in Youth Mentoring Workshops offered to elementary, middle and high school students. The speakers select a topic according to his/her experience.
- TAG (Together Achieving Goals) Girls Program: This unique program was designed to reinforce the potential that girls have to achieve personal and professional success through mentoring and community involvement supported by a female role model.
The Youth Mentoring Program has served a total of 378 students and has a total of 162 mentors. The Speakers Bureau has 20 members and served 219 students in the 2000-2001 school year. Mentors include police officers, city employees, residents, fire department staff and business owners and staff.
The success of this program has made a positive impact, not only on the students, but also to the City of Coral Springs. Mentor Coordinator Jenny Rebour has agreed to work with other law-enforcement agencies in Broward County and Volunteer Broward to duplicate this program and impact even more youth in the community.