DELPHOS — One hundred students, 50 business mentors and the community will benefit from a recent Community Connections Mentor3 Grant from the state.

Jefferson High School teacher and FBLA advisor Missy McClurg has secured yet another grant that will benefit Delphos in many ways.

“We received the $99,000 Community Connections Mentor3 Grant and which gives 75/25 match for funds invested in our local students, who in turn will invest in local businesses and the community,” McClurg explained. “After administrative costs, there will be $70,000 to match $700 business mentor contributions to Future Business of America clubs at Jefferson and St. John’s. In turn, the businesses will each receive $1,400 for a project at their business or in the community.”

The program also matches 50 student succeeders each with an FBLA mentor and a business mentor.

“The whole thrust of the grant it to get businesses and students together to improve each other,” McClurg said. “The businesses get to interact with the students and the students get the benefit of the business’s knowledge. The business gets the benefit of the money to complete projects like landscaping, construction, marketing campaigns, new product lines or essential supplies for the business to encourage or expand business and beautify Delphos — anything hands-on the mentorship team can work on together.”

McClurg said the response from local and area businesses has been positive but those who are interested need to act sooner rather than later.

“We’d like to have our 50 business mentors set by Sept. 15. They will be listed on the Canal Days flyer that will be distributed and they will also be listed on mentor/mentee T-shirts, on both school’s electronic signs and a permanent plaque in the Career Connections Student Center at Jefferson High School,” McClurg added. “There’s also a Mentor3 website, social media and the School2BizApp. They’ll be included on those as well.”

Businesses who would like to participate by mentoring a student but don’t have a project at this time can still donate the $700 to the FBLA groups and then give the $1,400 received to a community-based project.

“There are things we can do in the parks and other places around town that would really go a long way with beautifying Delphos,” McClurg said. “The projects just have to use consumable materials. They can’t be long-term capital purchases.”

St. John’s FBLA Advisor Jessica Bertling said her students are eager to get started with the program.

“They are more than excited to meet the business mentors and be matched with student succeeders,” Bertling said.

Bertling has already recruited nearly 30 FBLA members for St. John’s and said many of the students have watched their parents’ businesses as they’ve grown up.

“They have watched their parents run a business and gained that knowledge,” Bertling said. “They also think it’s a fantastic way to give back to the community.”

The grant will be run through the Delphos Area Chamber of Commerce because of its non-profit status. The chamber has 232 members, including local civic groups.

Chamber Executive Director Maria Diltz appreciates the concept.

“We are here to help our members better their businesses,” Ditlz said. “This is a great way for them to do that as well as help the next generation coming up.”

Diltz noted that this is a huge project and could benefit not only businesses but the parks, churches and more.