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Kudos to Tom Stabile for his “Escape From DCPS” (3/28). We appreciate his genuine interest in the welfare of our city’s youth.

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We would like to clarify, however, that Mentors Inc. is not a “tutoring program.” Founded in 1987, Mentors Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that creates and nurtures one-on-one partnerships between adult volunteer mentors and District of Columbia public high school students. While we do make referrals for academic tutoring, our focus is on mentoring. We also offer students a myriad of additional services, which include college application and financial aid counseling, summer job placement assistance, college scholarships and student emergency financial assistance, job readiness training, and referrals for SAT preparation classes, pro-bono health care, counseling, and other social services.

Stabile’s article illustrates the challenges faced by students such as Iyabo Akinadewo. While her experience preparing for and completing college applications has been quite frustrating, it is not atypical of what students in DCPS encounter. The majority of these young people want to achieve academically and personally. As with all teens, however, they need guidance, exposure to positive influences, and access to formal and informal educational resources in order to move forward in life. Mentors Inc. has offered students a support system for the last 10 years and looks forward to continuing our services in the future.

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