CLINTON — Earlier this summer an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside a branch of the Leominster Credit Union to show their appreciation for the continued donations that both helped the REAL Mentors girls’ program start up and continue to grow the program.
LCU has been donating funds to the program since it began in 2021, about 4 years after the same program for boys had started.
“LCU’s continued support of the REAL Mentors Program is something we all greatly appreciate. So, we came to their front door in Clinton to thank them,” said John Reedy, a board member of both LCU and R.E.AL. Youth Connections (RYC), the parent program for both boys and girls.
LCU President and CEO Barbara Mahoney presented a $5,000 check on Aug. 9 this past summer. On hand to receive the check were Mary-Sarah Loosemore, director of girls’ programs, and mentees Adamaris Rivera and Kelsey Fuller. Mentors and members from RYC, along with staff and several board members from LCU, were also in attendance to acknowledge LCU’s contribution and community support.
“We regularly look for opportunities to assist programs and initiatives within our communities as they carry out their mission,” Mahoney said. “We were very excited to contribute to the REAL Mentors program and support the great work they do with local youth. ‘People helping people’ is the credit union motto, and we embrace this philosophy in giving back to those we serve.”
The REAL Mentors Program provides after-school group mentorship programs for middle school girls and boys. During the school year, mentors and students meet once a week. The aim is to create positive and lasting connections between peers, mentors, and the greater community. The boys’ program in Clinton was started in 2017. Then, in 2021, the girls’ program was added and has continued to grow with the support of LCU.
Navigating the early teen years for many students can be trying at best. Having access to caring and supportive mentors, willing to listen without judgment and sharing their own experience, can help make the student’s trek a little less rocky.
“As we continue to grow these mentoring programs, a donation like this is so important to help us with all the activities we wish to do,” said Loosemore. “LCU has made the dream of broadening our programs more of a reality, and we are so grateful.”
For more information on R.E.A.L. Youth Connections or the R.E.A.L. Mentors Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit RYConnections.org.