Long Beach BLAST College Mentors Assist a Record 575 Long Beach Youth in Spring 2012!

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BLAST college mentors assist a record 575 Spring 2012 ushered in a new record for local nonprofit Long Beach BLAST-Better Learning for All Students Today. For the first time in its 12-year-history, BLAST’s Academic Mentoring Program deployed 400 college volunteers to support over 575 at-risk students in a single semester. By expanding its talented staff to include a third volunteer coordinator, BLAST was able to add nine new faculty partners from Long Beach City College, CSU Long Beach and CSU Dominguez Hills this spring. Working with these new college faculty members, as well as its existing faculty partners, BLAST made it possible for each of these 575 at-risk students in the Long Beach Unified School District to receive academic assistance from a meaningful role model, who also expands the younger child’s awareness of higher education, while conveying the positive message that anything is possible if you work hard enough to achieve it.

Says Leslie Keeney, BLAST’s Director of Mentoring Services, “It was so gratifying to be able to take on more college mentors this spring because of our increased staff capacity. Last year, we had to turn away college students who wanted to mentor, because we simply didn’t have enough manpower to ensure the high quality experience for all BLAST participants that we know is the reason that our program is so effective.”

In total, BLAST’s Academic Mentoring Program placed, trained, and supported 663 mentors and served over 900 kids in the 2011-2012 academic year. BLAST mentors provided over 10,500 hours of service. In total, through all of its programs, BLAST served approximately 1,060 at-risk students this year. Since it was founded in September 2000, BLAST has made it possible for 8,000 disadvantaged kids to receive mentoring services from nearly 6,000 college volunteers.

These and other accomplishments will be celebrated at BLAST’s fifth annual fundraising breakfast on Tues., June 5, 7:30-8:30am, at the Long Beach Yacht Club, 6201 E. Appian Way. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell will be the keynote speaker. Major sponsors for this year’s breakfast include (at press time): BP (presenting sponsor), NRG Energy West (platinum sponsor), Secure Transportation and Advanced Cleanup Technologies, Inc. (gold sponsors).

To purchase tickets for the breakfast or to make a donation to BLAST, please visit www.lbblast.org or call (562) 437-7766 Ext. 200

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