ASC Soldier mentors students
January 17, 2012
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The U.S. Army Sustainment Command is partnering with a local school to provide mentorship to its students.
Capt. Justin Bergen, ASC's Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, offers his Thursday afternoons to the children of Lincoln Academy. "My hope is that this program will assist the students by giving them positive role models that they can look up to," he said.
This Davenport school participates in the Partners in Education, an Army-wide program focused on partnering military volunteers and schools. Soldier-mentors help students develop academic and life skills necessary to be successful.
Though the program had been dormant at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., school liaison officer for Child, Youth and School Services Lorna McDaniel-Wilson said, "Recently, we have revitalized the program, and we started with ASC."
As the HHC commander, Bergen has oversight of all special programs that ASC Soldiers are involved in. "I assigned Sgt. 1st Class Willie Jordan to serve as the program coordinator last year, due to his extensive volunteer work," he said, "and I am remaining involved as a volunteer because I believe this is a great opportunity for ASC to get involved in our local community."
Bergen said there has been a lot of interest in this program from other ASC Soldiers. "Once we have more volunteers than Lincoln Academy can effectively use, we can coordinate and find another school to support."
Volunteers offer assistance by reading to a class, helping with events, giving talks or demonstrations while mentoring either an entire class or individual students.
"The best reward from this program is the way the students are motivated to be at school and motivated to share their school accomplishments with the volunteer," said Gerri Johnson, family involvement liaison for Lincoln Academy.
"I hope the students will gain confidence in their ability when it comes to learning," said Johnson. "I hope they will gain a level of self-respect and knowing that there are outside resources interested in their educational achievements."