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Louisville mayor spearheads citywide mentoring program

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer formed a mentoring program that encourages city employees to spend two hours a week helping at-risk kids. (EPA/WILLIAM DESHAZER/LANDOV)

When at-risk youth in Louisville need extra guidance, city employees are there to help. Jack Calhoun writes for Hope Matters that Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has launched a mentoring program that matches municipal employees with underprivileged kids and young adults.

Fischer’s goal is to have up to ten percent of the city government’s workforce, or 600 employees, serve as mentors, the article says. Participants devote up to two hours a week of worktime — at full pay — to assist with studies and steer youngsters away from crime and drugs. Employees must make at least a one-year commitment.

The mentors also play another important role. They help expand the horizons of impoverished youth by exposing them to people from different backgrounds and neighborhoods. “They need positive adults in their lives right now,” writes Calhoun a senior consultant to the National League of Cities.

“The key takeaway: this model doesn’t add additional costs to city budgets,” Calhoun says.

Hope Matters is an organization devoted to building nonviolent communities; Calhoun is its founder and CEO.

Hope Matters

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