"Breakfast With Dads" Mentorship Event Supports Young Male Students, Thanks to Amazing Volunteers
Dade Middle School, in South Dallas, TX, was among the worst-performing middle schools in its district just a couple of years ago. Plenty of factors matter when considering student performance, and among the most important are family support and the presence of mentorship in students' lives. At Dade, Principal Tracie Washington decided to take action in terms of cultivating mentorship for her middle schoolers. One of her initiatives is an event called "Breakfast With Dads," and the most recent breakfast gathering garnered news attention for a very special reason.
In the lead-up to the December "Breakfast With Dads," Principal Washington was encouraged to see that she had 150 students who had indicated they wanted to pair up with mentors. It can be hard for kids of middle-school age to ask for help, so it was a little unexpected to have such a great number excited about the event. However, many of the students who wanted a mentor said that their fathers would not be present at the breakfast. So Principal Washington decided to reach out the Dallas community.
Dade administrators put out a call, looking for 50 to 100 male mentors to help out at "Breakfast With Dads."
On the morning of the event, early 600 men showed up. Volunteers came for all kinds of reasons, from all kinds of backgrounds. Dads from other parts of Dallas, men in local law enforcement, public officials, and community organizers all made a point to show their support for the young male students at Dade who opened themselves up for mentorship.
"If I were in the place of these young men, I'd want someone to step up," said Jason Tren, a local whose visit was the first time he had been inside Dade Middle School.
Principal Washington plans to continue the mentorship program at Dade, with weekly and monthly mentoring opportunities. With the local community behind it, we see great things in this program's future!