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Nonprofit mentors kids one-on-one
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
February 06, 2013 01:03 PM | 2042 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A silent auction and carnival to benefit a local mentoring program for at-risk youth will take place at Centennial High School Saturday.

In addition to bidding for auction items, attendees can enjoy games and carnival foods. Raffle giveaways, a photo booth and balloon artists also are on tap for the event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

All proceeds will go to Roswell-based Project LIFT, which serves at-risk students in north Fulton, particularly in the Centennial High School cluster.

“Project LIFT helps at-risk North Fulton students by providing them with one-on-one mentors who encourage them to meet academic goals and help them with the skills they need to face the challenges of being a teen,” said Mary Beth Bishop, a program volunteer.

The middle- and high school-age students are referred to the program by teachers and others in the community, said Project LIFT Program Director Amanda Reed.

They meet after school on Tuesdays, first group in sessions with guest speakers or activities, then individually with mentors.

“These kids get time with their mentor at least once a week at no charge to their families. Lots of wonderful relationships have formed as adults from all walks of life spend quality time with a teen who needs them,” Bishop said.

The program got its start three years ago as an offshoot of a collaboration between Bridge to Grace Church and YES!Atlanta, an organization mentoring kids in the metro area. To focus on north Fulton, ProjectLIFT was born, adopting YES!Atlanta’s methods and using donated space at the church.

“We started with 12 students and now have 18 enrolled,” Reed said. “Each student has his or her own mentor, or coach, who has volunteered to commit to the student and the program for the whole school year from September to May.”

Progress is measured by reviewing students’ grades and conferring with teachers and parents, she said.

The nonprofit ProjectLIFT’s annual budget is around $50,000, Reed said, with the majority of the money coming from donations and fundraising. The auction and carnival is one of those fundraising events, with a golf tournament is coming up in April.

A wide and unique selection of auction items have been donated by businesses and individuals: vacation packages, including the ESPY Awards; Paris, France and Fighter Pilot for a Day; hotel and dining gift certificates, art, jewelry, autographed sports memorabilia and more.

Centennial High School is at 9310 Scott Road in Roswell. Bidding for the silent auction ends at 7:30 p.m. Guests are asked to park across from the school stadium and enter next to the gym.

Tickets for the auction and carnival are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets are also being sold for $40 per couple, with children age 3 and under admitted free.

Tickets can be bought in advance by going to www.mycommunityevents.com and putting Project Lift in the search box. Tickets are also available at the door.

For more information on Project LIFT, go to www.projectlift.org.
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