"No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child."
The Children’s Mentoring Program of Horry County was established in 1989. Former Conway High School Football coach, Julius Derrick, retired from the school system and recognized a special need for mentors in the lives of many children across Horry County. Together with the Surfside Rotary Club and the United Way, the Children’s Mentoring Program began to work in the lives of children in the community. Julius and Polly Derrick have led the organization for over 20 years.
The mentoring program pairs children with mentors that may give guidance and support they might not otherwise receive at home. The children in the program have special needs due to the absence of a significant male or female influence in their lives. The Children’s Mentoring Program seeks to fill that absence.
Non-profit organization that is funded mostly through the United Way as well as through donations by individuals in the community, local churches and businesses.
Those who wish to become mentors will be matched with children who have similar interests and a background check by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Mentors vary from business professionals to high school and college students to retirees.
The children join the program voluntarily though recommendations by parents, teachers, guardians, or school programs, and are from ages 6-13 years old. Once in the program they may stay as long as they like.
There are approximately 75 children in the program along with 25 mentors. There is always a need for more quality mentors that can work with a child.
The mentors and children may engage in many different activities as long as they have permission from the parents. Usually they choose an activity that the child enjoys.
For more information, visit the Children’s Mentoring Program of Horry County at www.facebook.com.