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Waltham residents are Mentors for the John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation

WALTHAM, Mass. — Waltham residents Jeff Gordon, Mark D. Koepper and John Schabacker have volunteered as mentors for the John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation (JAMMF), a nonprofit organization that operates the Mazie Mentoring Program and is dedicated to transforming at-risk or disadvantaged youth into adults of promise.

Founded in 1998, the unique scholarship and mentoring program pairs high school students who are at-risk of not fulfilling their potential with adult mentors who can help them thrive. Youth are selected for the program by school officials. The mentors are all volunteers who motivate students to work toward a better future while empowering them to have trusting relationships with adults. 

Gordon, Koepper and Schabacker were each matched with a sophomore from Waltham High School.  For the next five semesters, the duos will work together to fulfill two community service requirements, set academic and career-oriented goals for the students, and research the college application process. They will meet at least eight hours each month to participate in Mazie sponsored and individual activities that will expose them to new social, cultural and educational experiences.

Mentors of the program help students to improve their academic standing, graduate from high school and experience earned success. In turn, mentors are often inspired by their mentees and find volunteering for the Mazie Mentoring Program to be a rewarding experience. 

 “Our volunteer mentors are the vital ingredients that make our program run successfully,” says Founder and Executive Director Lowell Mazie. “Not only do they help students to achieve success, but, they often experience positive changes within themselves. Mentors report having improved listening skills and becoming more open to new ideas as a result of their participation. Overall, mentors find their experience to be a meaningful way to give back to the community.”

In the last 16 years, the Mazie Mentoring Program has helped more than 500 young people go on to lead more fulfilled and successful lives. More than 90 percent of Mazie mentees graduate from high school and more than 70 percent go on to college or other post-secondary training programs.

Applications for new mentors are always being accepted. For more information, to donate or to become a mentor, visit www.mazie.org or contact Lowell Mazie, Executive Director at maziefdn@comcast.net.

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