VIRGINIA BEACH - More than 300 children in Hampton Roads are on the waiting list for a mentor.
"We are in desperate need of male mentors. We have many boys who need people to help them make good choices," says Amanda Fredrickson, who volunteers as a mentor at the UpCenter.
That program has replaced Big Brothers Big Sisters in South Hampton Roads. However, they're struggling to find volunteers and frustrated they have to turn children down.
"I hope people hear this story and feel like they can get involved and make a difference in the lives of people," she adds.
Fredrickson has been mentoring Plaza Middle School student Lawshawnda Walke for more than a year. Walke has gone from getting in trouble at school to excelling in class.
"When I was in 6th grade, I would stay in trouble every time I turned around," she admits.
he change didn't happen overnight. They spend at least an hour a week together.
"She has such a positive attitude and a different demeanor," Fredrickson points out.
They both agree it's worth the commitment.
"It means a lot because if I have a problem she can help me," Walke says.
To learn more about becoming a mentor or to become one at the UpCenter, contact Jonathan Watford at 757-397-2121, extension 302.
You can also find more information on the UpCenter Website.