For 13 years, Boston Partners in Education has brought Power Lunch to the students of the Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA). Every week volunteers from Abt Associates, The Bulfinch Companies, and Genzyme Corporation come to read to and mentor first-third grade students at the Allston school. In honor of National Mentoring Month we asked Lauren Fogarty, Director of Extended Learning Time at GPA, and Patricia Emery, mother of one of the Power Lunch Students, to tell us the impact that they see as a result of that dedication.

A Power Lunch student and his mentor are absorbed in the exciting adventures of Spiderman.

Lauren said:
“Power Lunch has been a tremendous opportunity for our students who are in need of positive mentors in their life. Students are individually selected for this program based on teacher nominations. The students who participate often lack positive role models in their life and/or can benefit from individual attention.

The impact of this program is apparent when you walk into a Power Lunch classroom and students are smiling, laughing, reading and talking with their mentors – when students are excitedly explaining to their teachers what they learned about their mentors. You see it especially when they are anticipating their day with their mentors. GPA looks forward to continuing this partnership which provides our students with the gift of mentoring.”

Patricia Emery wrote a note on her son Michael’s permission slip this past year – a note asking us to personally thank his Power Lunch mentor. After speaking to Patricia on the phone, it was clear that she saw real value in the time he spends with his mentor each Monday.

“Power Lunch has helped tremendously with Michael’s reading, but it has also improved his confidence and self-esteem.” She laughingly told us that he always knows when it is his Power Lunch day and that it is something he looks forward to every week.

Michael and his Power Lunch mentor from Abt Associates share a story over lunch at the Gardner Pilot Academy.

She demonstrated the impact the program has had on him with a story.

“Recently, Michael and I were riding on a bus to run some errands. It was a long ride and in the past Michael would complain about the trip. During this ride, however, he was particularly quiet and when I looked over to see why, it was because he was reading a book – I was shocked!”

Boston Partners in Education loves hearing stories like this one from everyone affected by our programs – whether it’s students, teachers, mentors or parents. National Mentoring Month has provided an opportunity to highlight some of the great work our volunteers do every week and we look forward to sharing more throughout the year.