Needham Youth Services honored seniors who participated in the VIP Mentor Program and Peer Tutoring Program.
By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
High school seniors are some of the busiest people in society. Not only are they active in school - taking classes and doing all the work that goes along with that - but throughout the first part of the year, they are working on college applications and their future after high school. They have numerous extracurriculars, whether it be sports, music, or community service, and many also maintain part-time jobs.
Needham Youth Services recognizes how incredible these young adults are, and on April 24, they held their annual Senior Award Ceremony to honor peer tutors and VIP mentors.
The Peer Tutor Program matches high schools students, the tutors, with middle school and elementary school students, the tutees, who are looking for academic help or assistance. The VIP Mentoring Program also puts an emphasis on academic help, but is oriented slightly differently. VIP, which stands for Valuable Interactions among Peers, matches Needham High School students with a student in third to fifth grade to provide social interactions for the younger students. They meet once a week to play games, share stories, and talk. The Award Ceremony honored seniors in both programs.
“Tonight is about the kids who give back to the community. These are outstanding seniors who have gone above and beyond to give back to these program,” Katy Colthart, coordinator of the VIP program, said.
Johnny Cole, the Assistant Principal for Needham High School, was a guest presenter. After honoring students who had dedicated one and two years to the program, Cole presented awards to students who had spent three years in the program.
“Tutors and mentors only need to do about two years in the program to fulfill their high school community service,” Carolyn Tracey said. “These students continue with the program because they really felt that they were connecting with some of their littles or their tutees, and we just want to honor them for their commitment.”
Cole gave an introduction to each of these hard working seniors before handing them their certificate and honorary gift.
As they go on to college and beyond, there is no doubt that these students will continue to contribute to their communities and improve the lives of those around them.