Principal Torrence Allen set a goal for the Caring for Kids partners this school year at Ruskin High School to increase attendance. The principal suggested an idea to help achieve the goal. He asked if the partners would help mentor a group of young men at the school through a leadership curriculum. Pastor Dennis Lester, from Bethel Worship Center, volunteered to facilitate and lead this group of students through the curriculum called SOAR (Students of Action and Responsibility).
When the boys were initially brought together, Pastor Lester surprised them by saying they were chosen as leaders to participate in an opportunity. He met with 10-12 boys each week for six weeks. The police officers from the school attended the gatherings to support and help build relationships with the students. Pastor Lester will continue to meet with the group of boys throughout the next school year and Principal Allen will track attendance and behavior of the students to see the impact of the program.