STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Some MSU students serve as mentors to young people in the Starkville School District.
For one hour per week during the school year, the older students meet with the younger ones.
They do everything from catch up on the children's school work to talk about plans for the weekend ahead.
Student Mallory Kelley said, "I like spending time with my mentor and hanging out with her. She's sweet to me and we get to do our class work together."
Student Javeon Hinton said, "We've been talking about what all we did this summer."
Around one hundred adults from the community are recruited annually.
The mentors meet with students in the school and say they often are the ones who benefit the most.
Mentor Whitten Sabatini said, "I guess I had some teachers who influenced me and mentored me. I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't have someone who had taken care of me and made sure I was doing what I needed to be doing."
Mentor Lauren Manuel said, "She encourages me as well. It's really great how it works two ways like that."
Program leaders say developing a relationship often takes time, but the results are worth the effort.
Director Cathy Curtis said, "We want to communicate to every child that we believe he or she has a very positive future. Mentors are all about helping students now but also have that forward look into the future."
Many of the mentors return each year.
This is the second year for volunteer Kathleen Ragsdale.
Ragsdale said, "I don't have children. I was a little afraid of how to deal with a third grader and what to do, but it was very fulfilling."
Organizers say more adults in the community are always welcome to be a part of the program.