Jose and Joey: A game-changer

Daily Citizen
Sunday, August 10, 2014

School can be hard. So can life. As an infant, Jose lost his father.

Luckily, Jose had a loving mother who was able to provide for their family, but Jose was reserved and needed a male role model.

The game was changed for Jose in middle school when he met Joey Stuart, a United Way volunteer mentor. Joey was matched to Jose through Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a United Way partner agency program. Jose and Joey hung out often — playing games and talking about school.

Joey helped Jose pick classes for school, join Boy Scouts — another United Way partner — and plan for college.

Jose is getting involved in extracurricular activities while understanding that graduating is his number one goal. Last year Jose was the manager of the girls’ soccer team at his school and he is taking up archery as well. Jose is showing others through his actions that he has more confidence in himself.

Why is Joey’s involvement in Jose’s life so important?

Let’s look at some national studies: according to beamentor.org, youth with a mentor are: 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs, 27 percent less likely to use alcohol, 37
percent less likely to skip class, 53 percent less likely to skip school and 33 percent
less likely to hit someone. That’s not the only way our United Way changes the game on education, we also support programs that give so many kids a foundation for successful living. Did you know that your investment to United Way of Northwest Georgia will?

  • Enhance school readiness and strengthen family dynamics.
  • Provide mentoring, safe places to play, tutoring, and leadership development.
  • Keep youth on track for school, work, and life.
  • Prevent child abuse. And we don’t have just one way of making impact because it takes many avenues to get to where we want to go and we have the help of many great agencies like: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, Family Frameworks, Family Support Council, 4-H Clubs of Murray County, Friendship House, Girl Scouts and Whitfield County-Dalton Day Care Center.

Visit www.ourunitedway.org to:

  • Help us reach our goal of recruiting 1,000 new readers, tutors and mentors. We are more than half way there already.
  • Donate to United Way and improve local lives.
  • Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about United Way’s impact in Whitfield and Murray counties.

Why is giving to United Way efficient and effective? More than 70 United Way community investment volunteers — our friends, neighbors and co-workers here in Whitfield and Murray counties — annually analyze the needs of the community.

They make sure your gift goes where the needs are the greatest. Last year, United Way touched the lives of more than 67,000 people right here in our community.

Join Joey Stuart in changing peoples’ lives for the better. You can change the game. Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live united.

Amanda Burt is the president of United Way of Northwest Georgia.

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