Mentors change lives, communities

During my years of working with young people, I observed the benefits that result from the support, guidance and learning provided by mentors. Studies show how young people who have mentors do better in school, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, and have the confidence and positive attitude they need to be successful in life. I believe that all Kansas children deserve a caring adult role model in their lives which is why I believe in and help lead Kansas Mentors whose mission is to make this a reality. Because when more students in our communities succeed, everyone in our community wins.

Take, for instance, the story of a young man who was on the verge of getting kicked out of school in the fifth grade. He had a failing grade in every class first semester and at the start of second semester last year he was well on his way to failing every class again. His behavior was to the point that the school felt that he was a distraction to the teacher and other students and as bad as they hated to do it, it would be best for everyone involved to expel him from school. The school counselor had exhausted her resources on this young man and as last resort felt that maybe a Big Brother would help. She was right. His mentor allowed him to have someone to help with homework and an outlet for what he was facing at his home. In two weeks time he had showed some improvement and continued to improve throughout the semester. He was a student who didn't have adequate support at home, his Big Brother provided him the extra support he needed and that support allowed this young man to make the changes in his life necessary to better himself.

Currently in Kansas it is estimated that there are more than 50,000 young people waiting to be matched with a caring adult role model; hundreds of those youth, especially males, are located here in Garden City. That is why we have launched the Fourth Annual Coaches Challenge challenging the states of Nebraska and Iowa to see which state can recruit the most new mentors.

This is a great opportunity to not only change the lives of many of our youth, but also an opportunity to influence the future of Garden City.

It is my belief that the state of Kansas is comprised of people who genuinely care about our youth and the value-based direction they take in life. You are out there and you are desperately needed. Please get involved by contacting or visiting www.KansasMentors.org to find an agency near you.

Take the challenge, become a mentor.

Thank you again for your support.

BILL SNYDER,

Manhattan

Snyder is chairman of Kansas Mentors and head coach of the Kansas State University football team.

Work in Congress benefits wealthy

I wish President Obama could just sign an executive order to do the following:

1) Lower the corporate tax; 2) eliminate all government regulations that hamper construction and alter businesses from doing what they need to do; 3) provide tax breaks to companies that build in the USA and hire Americans; 4) eliminate all subsidies and tax loopholes; 5) eliminate all nonessential military bases in the U.S. and around the world; 6) repair the trade imbalance between U.S. and China and, just wishful thinking, ban all lobbyists from Washington, D.C.

None of these things would cost the taxpayer anything and would boost the economy and lower the deficit. It is obvious, however, that Congress is unable to do anything that is not in the best interest of their wealthy contributors. Their actions speak louder than their words.

JOAN DAVIS,

Garden City