MassHousing recently held its annual Year-End Awards Ceremony for fourth-grade students involved in the S.T.A.R.R. Mentor Program.
For the past 24 years, The Striving Toward Academic Recognition and Respect Mentor Program has involved MassHousing staff mentoring students at the Martin Luther King K-8 School in Dorchester.
Some mentors volunteer in the classroom with the students once a week providing academic support while other mentors donate time on weekends to take the students on educational field trips and other community-centered activities.
A program of MassHousing's Compliance and Diversity Department, 20 MLK students received academic and leadership awards this year at the year-end ceremony hosted at MassHousing.
The program's keynote speaker was MLK Principal Khita Pottinger, who thanked MassHousing's mentors for their commitment to the students and urged the students to strive to be their best inside and outside of the classroom.
MassHousing's S.T.A.R.R. mentors this year were Norman Brown, Stephanie Burns, Charlene Hollins, Mike Kilgannon, Caroleen Lewis-Herbert, Kathy Moore, Richard Nicks, George Ovins, Jennifer Rajala, Hellina Watson, John Zimini, Craig Aronson, Kamar Calixte, Colleen Doyle, James Fortune, Tom Johnston, Monte Stanford and Carl Richardson.
"None of this happens without the commitment and passion of mentors," said Patricia Weems, MassHousing's Diversity Officer, who coordinates the program. She told students, "We work as a collective group of mentors with your teachers and parents to encourage each of you to achieve your fullest potential."