Posted by Jim Boley
The McCall Payette Lake Rotary Club teamed up with the McCall Donnelly School District to create a new Rotary Youth Mentoring Program.  
Albertsons Reaches the Hearts and Minds of McCall-Donnelly Youth
The McCall Payette Lake Rotary Club teamed up with the McCall Donnelly School District to create a new Rotary Youth Mentoring Program.  After several meetings between Rotarians and representatives from the School District, they jointly identified several areas where additional support and service was needed for local youth. The first part of the program was launched on February 1st, a Four Way Test “Essay” Contest.   A $500 grant was provided by Albertsons through District 5400 to support this contest.
The program launched at the Heartland High School was an essay contest based on Rotary’s “4-Way Test.” The essay contest, would provide cash prizes to the top three winners and consolation prizes to all students who submit an entry.  To launch the program, three Rotary members provided a two-minute talk to the Heartland students about what the “4-Way Test” means to them.   
The program was open to all Heartland High School Students and students had to submit their response in one or more of the following formats: 
  • Written essay
  • Poetry
  • Art with a 2 to 5 minute presentation explaining their art piece. 
  • Music composition and performance
  • Oral presentation (with visual aids)
Several Awards were established for the winning entries:
              First Prize:  $100
              Second  Prize  $50
              Third Prize $40
All students (not winning a prize) were awarded a $10.00 gift certificate, redeemable for a sandwich from the Stax Restaurant, a favorite lunch place for the high school students.  Roughly a third of Heartland’s student participated and the event was a rousing success. 
As this contest took place, the rest of the mentoring program also got underway with Rotary members giving 15 -20 minute career presentations on a weekly basis.  There is a Q & A period after each presentation for the students to learn more about the career presented and Rotarian presenting.  The emphasis for each presentation has been on the “path by which they got to their chosen careers” as this was deemed to be most relevant to the students.  The schedule for these presentations is currently being put together by Rotarian Scott Broyles, and the McCall Payette Lakes Club has close to thirty club members participating in the overall mentoring program.  
Alongside the Career Presentations we are scheduling Rotarians to help with tutoring/mentoring students during the last period of the day 1:15 – 2:30pm.   Being in the class and around the students will identify students who would like help with their Senior Projects.   The Heartland staff will also be identifying students who would like help with their Senior Projects and let the Youth Mentoring Committee know so we can provide the best match from our members who have expressed interest in helping.  
Heartland High School will be the initial focus of the Youth Mentoring Program but the Club plans to expand to the other schools in the District in the future.   The Lunch Buddies program will also involve the Elementary school students and we hope to get this up and running sometime soon.
There has been a lot of interest and support from the club members, school faculty, and most importantly from the students themselves.  We are off to a great start toward a successful program, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of our local youth. We thank Albertsons for their support and partnership.
Jim Boley, Club President & George Pool, Event Chairman
McCall Payette Lakes Rotary Club