Wilkins relishes role as 'special encourager'
DUNCAN Melanie Wilkins has been chosen as mentor representative of the year for Link One Mentoring a program that has approximately 80 volunteers who spend an average of one hour each week with students in Duncan schools.
"This year we decided we needed to start recognizing a mentor representative of the year," said Carol Wanzor, administrative director. "We're in our fourth school year now. Our leadership didn't feel like the reason anyone was doing mentoring was to be recognized. However, there is a state mentoring day and our program wasn't being recognized on that program at the state level without having a representative elected."
Wilkins was part of the original team that helped develop policies and procedures for the mentoring program, according to Wanzor. Wilkins spends about an hour a week with Kayden Elix, a second-grader at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. He is the son of Kim Cappell.
"I am passionate about mentoring because there are many children in the Duncan area who are hungry, and in some cases lonely," Wilkins said. "They need a special encourager and friend."
Teachers in the public school system refer children to the mentoring program. Parents must give their permission.