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Letter to the Editor: Become a Mentor, Change a Life

Mentoring opportunities are available at organizations throughout Middlesex County.

As Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director, I am honored to serve the people of Middlesex County, be they senior citizens, veterans, working families, or students. I am honored to commit my time and energy to making Middlesex County the best place to live and to help raise the quality of life of all who live here.

So it came as a great thrill to be able to reach out to our younger citizens, specifically about 50 New Brunswick Middle School students, to help foster within them a sense of personal pride and dedication to their own futures. It was part of National Mentoring Month, a time during which special attention is given to this important topic.

I was invited to speak by Aixa Acevedo, Program Manager for Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA), which has a special focus for the Latino community. My message: “Dream big — they do come true.”

It’s important to encourage our youth, giving them the lessons we’ve learned growing up and motivating them to succeed.  It’s my duty to represent our children, too.

In Middlesex County, our residents support a number of mentoring organizations such as HISPA and Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys’ and Girls’ Scouts of America and the Connections Program of Catholic Charities. These programs are changing young peoples’ lives year-round.  Let’s be thankful to those who dedicate their time to ensure these opportunities remain available in our County.  

Our youth are looking for hope and direction. Having a dialogue with them, answering their questions, and watching their eager expressions to hear the new and different paths being introduced to them was fulfilling for me, too.  I’d encourage anyone to take the time and be a positive influence in the lives of our children.

If you would like to act as a mentor or help our youth find their paths in life, please contact one of the following organizations:

  • HISPA: www.hispa.org, (609) 474-4772
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties: www.bbbsmmc.org, (732) 544-2224
  • Boy Scouts of America, Central New Jersey Council: www.cnjcscouting.org, (732) 823-1395
  • Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey: www.gscsnj.org,     (732) 821-9090
  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen: www.ccdom.org,                 (732) 324-8200

-Ronald G. Rios

Deputy Director, Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders

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