The Goal is to Reach Kids in Time to Make a Difference:

Statewide Mentoring Recruitment Program Announced by Attorney General's Office

(ANNAPOLIS, MD) Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced on April 4 that his office has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland and the National Capital Area to create a new statewide mentoring recruitment program called Mentor Maryland. Curran challenged Maryland's businesses, colleges and faith institutions to heed his call for 2002 mentors in 2002.

"Mentoring works. The friendship, guidance, and support of a caring, stable adult in a child's life can make a world of difference," Attorney General Curran said. "Studies show mentoring dramatically improves school attendance, graduation and college enrollment, and severely lowers rates of drug abuse and delinquent behavior."

In addition to creating a Leadership Council whose members include William Cardinal Keeler, Mayors Martin O'Malley, James Mathias, Ellen Moyers, "Dutch" Ruppersberger, Nancy Grasmick, and Major Riddick, the Attorney General has already received commitments from ten of the state's colleges and universities in support of the program.

The mentoring effort will focus on what Curran describes as the "25 percent of school-age kids in Maryland considered at-risk."

Over 70 members of the Office of the Attorney General, including Curran, have been mentoring an entire eighth grade class at a South Baltimore Middle School for over a year. "It has been a wonderful experience," said Curran.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, which has been involved in mentoring since 1904, will screen and place prospective mentors recruited by Curran's initiative.

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can obtain more information and apply online by visiting the Office of the Attorney General web site, or by calling 1-888-743-0023.

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This story was published on April 4, 2002.