A new 'Lifetime Mentorship Program' created in partnership with Youngstown City School District and Youngstown Police is seeking adults interested in inspiring today's youth. 

Organizers said the new program will focus on students as early as the third grade.

Students will be identified by school counselors and then placed with mentors that will remain with the student until the child reaches graduation.

"We have to get to the young people that are #1, perpetrators of the violence and #2, the young people that are being influenced," said Rev. Kenneth Simon, Senior Pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church. 

"We are going to meet with them once a month and help them to develop, like career choices," said Youngstown Police Community Liaison Malik Mostella.

Officials say they start seeing that violence or bad decision making happen around 5th to 6th grade, which is why the mentorship program will focus on 3rd graders in efforts to help those young kids make better choices. Students at the third grade level will select six careers and learn about each.

In the high school level career choices will be more focused.

"Because a lot of times when these kids graduate, they don't have a plan," said Mostella. "So we are going to try to develop them some skills that actually last them a life time, hence the name of the program."

Mostella said this mentorship program is so unique because it doesn't last for a few months or a few years, but the mentors stay with the students until they graduate high school. 

This program was created in January, ahead of the recent spike of crime in the city, but will launch this school year and organizers hope it will be another tool to help combat crime in the city.

"This is where the rubber meets the road," Rev. Simon said. "We have to get to families and we have to get to the children. We have to get to these young people. We have to provide alternatives for them."

Mostella has been a patrolman in the city for more than twenty years.

"Try to give these kids better things to do and better reasons for living than what some of them think they have right now," said Mostella. "A lot of our younger ones, I'm going to say 15-25, don't believe they can aspire to being more than what they are right now. They don't have goals set."

Mentors will under go background checks before being paired with a child.

"I'm looking forward to people who want to help, who want to get involved. There are a lot of people who do things like this already, the only thing I'm doing is giving them another vehicle," said Mostella.

If interested in becoming a mentor, email Malik Mostella at [email protected]

To learn more about the program listen to the full interview with Malik below.