Junior high students mentor to the younger generation

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-A group of Region 8 students are working to be good role models for younger people and each other.

A Leadership Conference was held at Nettleton Junior High Thursday morning.

Faculty, students and guests gathered together to officially kick off the new mentoring program that's taking place there.

Called "Gentlemen of Knowledge", this program is designed to encourage members to make good grades, enhance leadership skills and act as role models for those around them.

Teacher Kathy Byrd says this whole idea started when the observed another mentoring program taking place at another school.

"We met with Rivercrest High School in November," Byrd said. "They had started a mentorship program there to help bring up their test scores and improve behavior. We looked at this as an opportunity to implement a program like that in our school."

Gentlemen of Knowledge member Jay Small says he was impressed with what he had observed on their visit to Rivercrest in Wilson.

"We went and met with the boys at Rivercrest after watching their You Tube video," Small said. "We met with them more than once because we enjoyed the time there we spent with them. The guys had great personalities. They were great kids. We could see the mentoring program had matured them and we wanted to get the same thing going on here."

President of Gentlemen of Knowledge, Montel Moore, says he believes this program is going to be a good thing for everyone.

"This program is to help everyone be better in their life," Moore said. "People in the group can develop their leadership skills and take them outside of school and use them in the world."

Moore says in the time he's been involved with the program, he has already seen improvements.

"I think this is a great program. I know it's helped me a lot. I focus more in class. I act more mature."

Moore commented that he hopes the mentor program will have a positive effect on more than just the members of Gentlemen of Knowledge.

"I hope to see the kids we work with to succeed in life, as well. In the way that I want to succeed. This is a program I would recommend for any school to do."

Nettleton Junior High also has a mentoring program for the girls called, "Big Sister, Little Sister."

Byrd says the girls program has been running successfully for five years.

They hope to expand the Gentlemen of Knowledge mentoring program to both the high school and elementary.

For information about Gentlemen of Knowledge, log onto their website.

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