Mentors helping young West Virginians build on their strengths as they overcome obstacles and move toward their dreams

                          A trauma-informed middle-school mentoring project


 It starts with young people at high risk of dropping out. Give them caring mentors who encourage them every week. Help them identify their own strengths. Help them build on those strengths.

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At-risk young person



Peer tutor
Teacher mentor


 Support for mentors
Hear from a teacher mentor

DeWayne Cook, art teacher at Logan County's Man Middle School, has mentored 28 high-risk students in the

past two years. 

Hear from an administrator

Michelle Podunavak, principal,

Chapmanville Middle School

(Logan County) is so impressed

with StrengthCorps results, she

decided to assign a teacher mentor to every student for 2019-2020.

Hear from a peer tutor

Sarah Starks, peer mentor at Kanawha County's  Horace Mann

Middle School, tells how the program works and how it has affected her own life

A five-year

research project: Chapmanville Middle School, Logan Middle School, Man Middle School (Logan County)

and Horace Mann Middle (Kanawha)

    We see how well it can work 

Solid research says that when at-risk youth are provided a

caring mentor, good things are likely to happen.  

Download a research summary:

Download a fuller description of StrengthsCorps project.

This is a five year project. We are looking for the most effective way to apply a mentoring model in our underfunded rural and inner-city schools.


In our first year, 2017-18, we tried different approaches, Two of five schools had great results. We're detailing what they did right so other schools can do the same.

Our challenge: Show that this approach is worth the money. We'll declare victory if we get the kind of results in other schools that  Chapmanville got last year.

  How can other schools

    get those results?


Chapmanville Middle is located in a depressed coal mining area with high rates of diabetes and opioid abuse and underfunded schools.


If they can do it, you can too! 



For more 

information, contact:

Douglas Walters



    -  Sheila Mayard, Teacher mentor

        Chapmanville Middle School