LIVE UNITED Film Series: All it takes is a game of UNO

Life is too hectic.
Work is crazy busy.
I am already overcommitted.
There never seems to be enough time.
I have my own kids.
Someone else will do it.
Will I really make a difference?

What do all these statements have in common? They could easily be reasons as to why you cannot be a mentor to a young person in need. And guess what? They are all very valid statements. However, they are also an easy way convince yourself to NOT get involved in the life of a young person.

As the Director of Volunteer Services and Community Partnerships for Communities In Schools of Central Texas (CIS), I see the impact a caring adult mentor can have on a child just by showing up one time per week. Each year, we match more than 500 CIS students with adult mentors. Often times, these students are in need of a little extra support. This support can come from a one hour a week volunteer mentor. That hour can spent playing a game of Uno. It can be as simple as homework help or a walk around the school track. That extra support can be just the thing that makes a difference to a child. Knowing that their mentor will be there can translate to improvement a child’s attendance at school. Or it could be just the thing that allows them to dream of a brighter future. Or gives them the hope that they can achieve great things.

Our mentors are able to connect with students in a way that a teacher or a parent cannot.
CIS Mentors make an incredible difference in the lives of the children they mentor. And mentors report that the students make a pretty big impact on their lives as well.

It is imperative that our community come together to help our kids stay in school and on track to graduate high school. If we, caring adults in the community, can support our young people to achieve, then we can make our community stronger and their futures brighter. I hope you can be convinced to get involved in the life of a young person.

I am a mom and I am committed to helping my 4 year daughter grow up to be a successful young woman (that’s us on the left). I commit to being an involved parent. I am also about to be a soccer coach. This is my way to be a caring adult in the lives of other kids in my community.

What can you commit to doing to help a young person in your community? An easy one is to join us this Thursday, January 28th from 6-8:30 at the Austin City Limits Studio at KLRU for the LIVE UNITED Film Series. Be inspired by the film, “It All Adds Up” to get involved. You will make a difference. I see it firsthand every day!

Alissa Magrum
Director of Volunteer Services and Community Partnerships
Communities In Schools of Central Texas

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