The statistics are startling at best. Some 43,000 students are enrolled in the Cincinnati Public School District, but based on current trends, almost half of them won't graduate from high school. What's more, 63 percent of these students live below the poverty line, which is $18,500 for a family of four. That's the problem today. Imagine what the problem could look like 10 years from now. The Cincinnati Bar Association Mentoring/Tutoring Program is a simple, but effective means for addressing this problem one-on one. Over the past four years, the legal profession, more than any other profession or group in our community, has distinguished itself as a leader in encouraging students to stay in school and go on to college. Hundreds of attorneys, paralegals and staff have chosen to become mentors and/or tutors to students in our inner-city schools. Attorneys have also mentored students in suburban schools with similarly alarming dropout rates. Currently, there are about 1,000 students on a waiting list for a mentor or tutor. Like most kids, they probably won't wait long until they find some other less positive role models in their neighborhoods - role models who won't be encouraging them to stay in school, go on to college or find honest jobs.
Consider joining other members of the bar in serving as a tutor or mentor for a youngster in need. The time commitment can be as little as a half an hour a week. That's all. Personal experience and statistics tell us that brief, regular contact can make a noticeable difference in the perspective and performance of these students. Don't underestimate, the difference a half an hour a week of your time can make. Please consider becoming a tutor or mentor. We guarantee that this is one non-billable endeavor that will make a world of difference in our community! For more specific information on mentoring/tutoring opportunities and a list of convenient schools and after-school programs, please contact Kathy Grant at the Cincinnati Bar Association at (513) 699-4016.