United Way launches mentorship program for young girls - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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United Way launches mentorship program for young girls

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STRUTHERS, Ohio - Middle school can be a tough time for kids, which is why the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley has launched a new mentorship program aimed at motivating and inspiring young girls to make better choices, lead healthier lives and strive for brighter futures.

"This is a really unique opportunity. This is not anything that is a canned program. This was something that was derived from the volunteer women and we actually hand selected what type of curriculum would be part of this program," said Karen Luke with the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Seventy-five girls from middle schools in Youngstown, Liberty and Struthers have been selected to be part of the inaugural mentorship class.

"It just sounded interesting to be in it. It just sounded exciting," said Struthers Middle School student Tori Barone.

Over a 23 week period, the girls will complete three different programs. The United Way has paired with Junior Achievement to educate girls about their financial health and the importance of setting educational and careers goals.

The Girl Scouts aMaze Journey will help the students understand what it takes to become a leader and how to make healthier choices.

At Struthers Middle School, the girls will first participate in Vision Pursue, a web-based mentorship program where they'll learn to take control their thoughts and emotions.

"They get exposed to so much more at a younger age and we want to help guide them through that so that it is not as difficult for them and they can guide it more successfully for themselves," said Vision Pursue advisor Dr. Melinda Wolford.

The pilot program will wrap up in the fall at all three middle schools.

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