What does a retired football coach from thirty plus years of service to the Bleckley County School system do with some of his free time? He takes time to mentor! Coach Jimmy Kilpatrick is giving back and in a big way. Once a week he can be found in the old high school lunchroom playing games, laughing and most importantly…listening.
When asked why he decided to join the Communities In Schools, Inc. and Family Connection Mentoring program he simply stated, “Well, I have three grandsons of my own and I thought to myself…..I can meet once a week and be a friend to a child. I can do that!” His dedication to his profession is reflected in his mentoring. Mr. Kilpatrick is present in every sense of the word. He says the most rewarding experience he has had with his mentee is just getting to sit and listen to this little boy talk. He explained how easy the bond formed between them and how he has become like a part of his family even though they only get to mentor at school.
Mr. Kilpatrick had a few concerns about becoming a mentor in regards to his past experience of mainly teaching and coaching older students. He wondered if he could really communicate with a 3-5th grader. Those fears have been put to rest as this “team” is a real success story!
Jimmy has clear advice on the topic of Bleckley County residents getting involved in the mentoring program. He simply said, “Try it!! The statement used in our mentoring program really spoke to me as it reads: “You never stand so tall as when you bend down to help a child”. I believe in that statement.”
We are grateful to Mr. Kilpatrick for his dedication to mentoring and to all our mentors. We still need many more mentors, especially males, as referrals come in almost daily. Please consider this something you can do for your community. If you are interested, contact the CIS/FC Mentoring Program at 478-934-4300.