Group of mentors hope to better the lives of students

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Some young men at a local school have some big mentors to look up to. They have made it their mission to better the lives of students.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell has the story.

At Mitchell Elementary School Resource Officer Donald Lewis doesn't make arrests, he makes men. 

"These young guys deserve a chance and I'm trying my best to help give them that chance they deserve," he told FOX 29.

They are called "The Men of Mitchell"   Teenagers, some who don't have fathers themselves, who have committed to become role models and leaders in their school.

The seven "Men of Mitchell" have quickly become the big men on campus, sporting shirts and ties. They mentor younger kids and meet after school for peer mediation. Then, there's the time they surprised their principal with flowers just because she is doing a good job.

The new principal says the program has now drawn interest from the whole school. A big turn around for what was one of the city's poorest performing schools.

"I think there is such a negative stereotype of kids in the city and that all you see on the news are the negative things that happen. When they are given a chance to give just as much energy into the positive they're able to do so," said Principal Stephanie Junod-Andrewlevich.

For these men it's not only representing their school but their community. It's the kind of change Officer Lewis envisioned when he started his mission and he says it's not over.

"They are going to college. My goal is to convince them to get out of the neighborhood and you have to be productive citizens in society and you can make it," said Officer Lewis explained.

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