Staff Sgt. Juana Snell’s program, Mentors in Action, is coming to two Dougherty County schools this year. (Submitted photo)
ALBANY — Last year, Staff Sgt. Juana Snell with Marine Corps Logistics Command at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany brought to International Studies Elementary Charter School a program that would match its students with mentors in uniform as a way to enhance the growth of the school’s student body.
The program is coming back again this year, this time in two schools.
“Mentors In Action,” or MIA, is a program that MCLB-Albany officials say is designed “to facilitate an educational and motivational environment where students can strive for excellence as well as provide a place where mentors can serve as positive enforcers of leadership, professionalism and dedication.”
This year, it will be at International Studies Charter, as well as at Southside Middle School. The idea, officials have said, is to take Marine Corps leadership ethos and infuse classrooms with ideals and principles that will make them stronger leaders.
In order to incorporate a tie to the Corps, Snell took the word “Marine” and created the acronym “Mentoring Above Resistance and Inspiring New Endeavors.”
In a nutshell, the job of the participating Marines is to act as a positive role model for the students.
” … They’ll talk to them about their school, their lives and anything that pertains to them and how we could help mentor them and guide them to prosper,” Snell said in an interview last year when the program kicked off. “The idea is for us to get to know them — to let them know we’re here and that we care.”
A minimum of one hour per week is being required of the Marines who volunteer. The mentors will meet with staff and teachers, and begin working with students, at Southside on Monday. At International Studies Charter, they will be meeting with staff and teachers on Thursday before beginning mentorship duties on Friday.
Volunteers are being given the option of mentoring students at more than one school, officials at the base said. Last year, there were 26 Marines who volunteered to be matched up with classes to visit as part of the program.