Mentors3 groups enjoy the program-end banquet Sunday at the Knights of Columbus hall. Awards were given and presentations were shared about the different mentoring projects. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Mentors3 groups enjoy the program-end banquet Sunday at the Knights of Columbus hall. Awards were given and presentations were shared about the different mentoring projects. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
DELPHOS — The Mentors3 program concluded Sunday night with an awards banquet at the Delphos Knights of Columbus hall to recognize the hard work put forth by area students and businesses alike.

The program began in September and matched students from Delphos Jefferson and St John’s with local business mentors as a learning experience and a way to give back to the community.

The students and mentors worked on projects throughout the year like the Aware Fair, the Escape Room, promotional campaigns, job shadowing and website creation.

FBLA advisor Missy McClurg reflected on the success of the program.

“It is really good for the students, especially if they haven’t had a job before. It builds accountability and they know their team is counting on them. They all had to have a voice; it’s not just the adult leading it,” she said.

The program proved to be a rewarding experience not only for students but for the mentors as well. Maria Diltz from the Delphos Chamber of Commerce helped lead the project and explained the positive impact it had on local business.

“We had great feedback from local businesses and hope we can do it again next year. I think the mentors learned just as much as the students,” she said.

One of the mentors was Delphos Safety Service Director Shane Coleman. He sees the program as a great asset to the community.

“This is a fantastic program that I hope we continue,” Coleman said. “To see all the business representatives interacting with our young people says a lot about our community, both young and old. It brings different generations together to work on projects and that benefits everyone involved.”

Jefferson freshman Josh Wiseman mentored with Ft. Amanda Specialties and appreciated the opportunity to take part in the program.

“It was great for all the students to get involved in the community. I learned a lot about teamwork and working with new people. We originally planned to have an Earth Day at the park but it ended up not happening. Instead, we are going to plant shrubs at the high school,” Wiseman said.

The grant used to fund the Mentors 3 program is year-to-year, so there is no guarantee it will be around for the 2018-19 school year. Diltz and McClurg have already applied for the next grant and hope to continue the program in the future.

“We would gladly do it every year. Last year only half of those that applied for the grant were awarded but we have obviously worked hard for this program to be a success. We have submitted all of our documentation and success stories with the hope that we will be selected for the grant,” McClurg said.

The grant selections will not be made until June. Despite the uncertainty, McClurg is looking forward to next year.

“If we are lucky enough to get the grant next year, it will be renamed Student Opportunities to Advance Readiness or S.O.A.R. We will also be incorporating OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal. We are looking at cutting down the program for next year. We had a lot of teams and it’s not that we couldn’t manage it, but we want it to be more about the quality of the program rather than the quantity. We hope we get it but with a grant you just never know.” McClurg concluded.

The banquet included a presentation followed by an awards ceremony. Dinner was provided by Dick’s Steakhouse.