Mentorship for troubled teens now open to any students needing help

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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) — A program out of Beaufort County is helping to make sure kids are getting the attention they need.

“For mentors, the only thing I’m looking for is somebody that’s going to be consistent with these kids,” said program coordinator Ericka Espejo.

For these kids, consistency is key. The Mediation Center of Eastern Carolina is introducing a mentorship program. The program is meant for students who have behavioral issues or may be in trouble with the law. However, during COVID, their audience is changing.

“Right now, just anyone. For me, I think it’s anyone in need. If you need homework help let us know. If you need a friend, a little bit of guidance. If you need anything just an extra person to help you in any way,” said Espejo.

Espejo says with schools not being in person, it has been hard to try and connect with kids with any type of need.

“Right now, since school is in such a unique state, we are not having such a good run of things,” said Espejo. “I’ve reached out to counselors in the school and have said if you need or see anyone struggling with anything just let me know.”

She says that with the program opening itself up to any and all students, they’re not only looking for mentees but mentors as well.

“It takes a village to raise kids and if you have the hand to help why not do it. It’s free. Kids don’t ask for their situations in life sometimes and if we could do something just as simple as saying hello and speaking to them and asking them how their day is, why not do that?”

For now, the program is focused on the Duplin, Wayne, Sampson, and Beaufort County areas, however, they are looking to expand it across other mediation offices in the future. They say they require two hours a week of participation and will work around the mentees’ schedules.

To get in contact with the Mediation Center of Eastern Carolina, click here. There you can find out more about being a mentee or mentor. You can also contact Espejo directly at eespejo@mceconline.org or by calling at (252) 758-0268.

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