CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. – Clinton County students in grades 9 through 12 have an opportunity to participate in a free pilot program to develop the skills and acquire the resources for success post-high school.

COACH Kids of Clinton County announced via a media release they were the recipient of a $5,000 award from the Duke Energy Foundation to match community mentors with high school students throughout Clinton County. These mentors will help students identify strengths, passions, and pathways for success after high school in a program called, “Friends for Life.”

“We have identified a lack of practical resources that keep our students from finding success in college or career after high school,” states Susan Grasham, Executive Director of COACH Kids of Clinton County. “Many times, it is simple details, like trying to find parking, and misunderstandings that create frustration and deter kids from pursuing their dreams as adults. We believe that mentors can help provide the missing pieces, life experience, and encouragement, that can ensure a positive outcome.”

COACH Kids of Clinton County, created in 2007 to fulfill a need in Clinton County for a faith-based mentoring program for at-risk youth, currently provides mentoring programs for elementary, middle school, and high school students through its “Local Heros” and “Community Hope” programs.

“Friends for Life” is a pilot program aimed at students, in grades 9-12, who believe that having a well-trained mentor can help them succeed in life. Grasham hopes to grow relationships with local mentors who have been trained in the expectations of high school students, colleges, and other educational opportunities by the Purdue Extension Office of Clinton County. In addition to the Duke Energy Foundation, financial assistance is provided by: Partnership for a Drug-Free Clinton County, and Clinton County Community Foundation

Esmeralda Cruz, Clinton County’s Purdue Extension partner added, “Deciding a future career path after high school can be a very overwhelming decision for many high school students. Even if they know they plan to attend college, trade school, go into the workforce, etc., there are still many decisions that they will need to make within these options. Because we know that youth may be under a lot of stress when making these decisions, COACH Kids in partnership with Purdue Extension are launching the Friends for Life program this school year.”

Applications for students can be picked up in all four of the Clinton County high school guidance offices. Other students may contact the COACH Kids office at (765) 654-8812 or coachkids@coachkids.org. Meetings are monthly and on location at the Purdue Extension office, Gem City Junction, and via telephone. The start date for the 2021 school year is September 22nd at the Purdue Extension Office in Frankfort.

COACH Kids of Clinton County prepares to launch a new mentoring program, “Friends for Life.”