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Robstown mentoring program matches students and mentors

Anisa Chavera and Jasmine Sanchez
Posted at 1:55 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 15:46:48-05

ROBSTOWN, Texas — Robstown ISD has a new tool in its district.

It is called, the Empower Mentoring Program.

Empower stands for “every mentor provides opportunities with endless results.”

These students are picked for the program by administrators who feel they could use a little more support on a personal level.

We got the chance to hear from a student and mentor, to see what kind of impact the district's newest program is making

Jasmine Sanchez is one of the 60 Robstown ISD junior and high school students chosen for the Empower program.

“I have 12 siblings, and I'm not really around my parents much because they have to take care of my little siblings more,” Sanchez said.

When Sanchez was told she would be meeting with a mentor twice a month, she was skeptical.

"I didn't really want to have a mentor because I was confused about what it was and all that,” she said.

The district matches these mentors with students based on common interests and experiences.

Sanchez found a kindred spirit with Anisa Chavera, who was her second and third grade teacher. Chavera told Sanchez the news on her birthday.

"She's always had my heart, just one of those students that hits you in the heart and just touches you," said Ortiz, who now works as Ortiz Intermediate School's principal.

Though these mentors are already Robstown ISD employees, they go through extensive background checks, an internal screening and an orientation.

These mentors are taught to simply listen to their student and offer positive feedback for any kind of situation.

"It's a chance to give back and do what someone else had done for me,” Chavera said.

While making sure their student's grades are on track, mentors are also someone to confide in when it comes to friends and life at home.

"It's been hard for my parents, I know it has,” Sanchez said. “And I just want to talk to Ms. Chavera about things like that."

Once a student is paired with their mentor, they will meet twice a month until the student graduates from high school.

Chavera and Sanchez still have more than four years of mentorship left.