Posted: May 10th, 2012 | By: Ramie Shalabi (’13)
The Pro Bono Project at Wake Forest University School of Law partnered with Advanced Placement to help jumpstart the program, Reclaiming Futures, in Forsyth County.
Reclaiming Futures is a nationwide project that strives to help young people who struggled with drugs, alcohol, and crime by partnering juveniles with positive, caring adults to serve as their mentors. There was a need in Forsyth County for mentor volunteers and law students at Wake Forest stepped forward to fill this void.
Chief Judge William B. Reingold has been a vocal supporter of having Reclaiming Futures in Forsyth County. He has met and spoken with each mentor as well as many other law students about the benefits of serving as a mentor. Judge Reingold hopes that the partnership between the Pro Bono Project and Reclaiming Futures “is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
The Wake Forest University School of Law students meet at least once a week with their mentees and participate in activities such as bowling, prom dress shopping, and playing basketball. The mentors are required to write “contact notes,” which they submit to Advanced Placement monthly, to help ensure that the program is running effectively.
Although law students make a one-year commitment to the program, most of this year’s mentors have expressed their desire to remain involved in their mentee’s lives. Kelsey Baird (’13), a mentor, called her experience “valuable as it is fulfilling . . . and one of the best programs I’ve been involved in at Wake Forest.”
The Pro Bono Project has been thrilled to organize volunteers for Reclaiming Futures this year, and has already received numerous requests by law students to be partnered with mentees next year. New mentors will be trained and paired up with a mentee by Advanced Placement in September.