The Coral Springs Police Department is proud to announce that Officer Diane Wantuck was named Middle School Mentor of the Year for 2011 by the Youth Mentoring Programs Department.
Youth mentors are volunteers working one-on-one or in small groups with students. The common goal of all mentors is to encourage students to stay in school and make healthy lifestyle choices.
When Officer Wantuck began mentoring at the Ramblewood Middle School in 2010, she had only a couple of months to get to know her mentee and lay the groundwork for their friendship before the beginning of summer break. However, she picked up with her assigned mentee at the beginning of the following school year when the student began 7th grade. Officer Wantuck helped her mentee establish a goals list that included short and long-term goals. As they grew more comfortable with each other, the mentor discovered that her mentee’s slipping grades were partly due to a lack of self-esteem and confidence.
Within a few months of working together, the student exhibited increased self-confidence and belief in her abilities. She also learned to address her issues proactively. Where in the past she did not speak to her teachers about grades and missed assignments, she now has the confidence to go to the teachers, explain the situation and ask for help. As a result she was able to raise her grades and maintain them. When faced with serous medical issues she had the courage to approach guidance staff and teachers to get the intervention and assistance she needs in order to keep up with her classwork.
The strides this student has made and the challenges she has successfully overcome are a testament to the importance of having outstanding dedicated mentors like Officer Wantuck in our schools.