ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time, the Arlington Police Department’s “Mentoring Arlington Youth,” or “MAY,” program is mentoring girls.
Teachers, police officers and business professionals are among those who will serve as mentors.
Arlington PD’s “MAY” program launched in 2015, mentoring boys and starting this week – girls, too.
“I think it’s a great thing. For a moment, girls get a second chance,” said Autumn Floyd.
And she isn’t the only participant looking forward to the program.
“I’m excited for this so I can have better leadership skills,” said Marisol Sanchez.
Eleven seventh and eighth grade students, including Autumn, Yatzil and Marisol, met the mentors who will guide them through the year-long process.
Sgt. VaNessa Harrison will lead the team of mentors. She says the district chose the students.
“Girls experience social problems and peer pressure and conflicts, just like boys,” said Sgt. Harrison.
The girls will visit the University of Texas at Arlington campus to meet with community professionals; they build a vision board and tackle team-building activities.
“They can take these skills back to their families, so it’s a joint effort for us to not only work with the girls but with their families,” said Julie Reinhardt, Activities Coordinator of the Junior League of Arlington.
The first class is Thursday at Workman Junior High School after school.
“I think I’m going to change a lot. I’m going to be a lot more confident,” said Yatzil Leanos.
The three girls say they’re excited about the new uniform, too and the confidence they will wear year-round.