Once a week during the school year, Lauren Osina of Malco Products, Inc. takes an hour out of her work day to visit her iC.A.R.E. mentee, Bre, at Barberton High School. “iC.A.R.E. has probably been the most challenging way I’ve been involved with United Way,” says Lauren. “But it’s also the most meaningful and rewarding.” It took Lauren a long time to build a relationship with her mentee, she says, but by the end of the year, she felt her time with Bre was really making an impact.
Research shows that iC.A.R.E. mentees are three times as likely as their peers to earn a GPA of 3.0 or above. And recipients of in-school mentoring show lower rates of absenteeism. By providing the benefits of a caring adult, iC.A.R.E. supports United Way’s Bold Goal 2 – to increase high school graduation rates and college/career readiness among local students.
“I’m working to be not just a positive role model for my mentee, but a positive female role model,” says Lauren. “I’m here to help guide her, and I want her to be successful. It’s on her to make the right choices and to take control of her life, but if I can have any part in helping her find success, that’s what I want.”