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Class, mentors help Oklahoma City boys find direction

Volunteers from throughout the community are dedicating their weekends and afternoons to mentor boys in seventh grade at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City. The idea is called Project BOLD: Bridging Opportunities for Leadership Development.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: September 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm •  Published: September 21, 2012

“We want them to reach their dreams,” Pete said. “They have to understand that ‘just enough' isn't enough.”

Tanisha Dews, a counselor for Brighter Days Youth and Family Services, is one of the Project BOLD mentors.

“I'm here because I want to be that role model,” Dews said. “They're learning, and I'm learning how to be a better mentor.”

The age group is a good one to target, she said, because students are still open to advice and guidance from others.

“This is a critical age,” Dews said. “They make decisions on their own, but you can still guide them.”

Project BOLD student Calvin Walton, 13, was in the program last year as well, when it was for sixth-graders. He likes the class, the speakers and especially the mentors.

“The mentors, they are here for a reason,” he said. “They are here to help us succeed.”

Walton has a clear idea of what success looks like for him. He said his goal is to become an engineer and design his own car. Project BOLD will help him get there, he said.

“It will help me with my school and keep me out of trouble,” Walton said. “It's helping me do the right thing, like making right decisions and stuff.”

That's what Pete likes to hear.

“I want them to feel pride,” he said. “I want them to feel they matter.”