10 Years, 10 Stories: From feisty to straight ’As’

Lisa Augustin

“It’s amazing the positive impact you can have on a child’s life. You can help them choose the better path just by giving them advice, providing a different perspective and broadening their horizons.”

As a former teacher and current director of charter schools, Lisa Augustin knew becoming a mentor through United Way’s Be a Middle School Mentor program was the right way for her to reconnect with students.

Keyonna, a feisty sixth grader, was matched as Lisa’s first mentee. They ate lunch together, did preplanned activities, played games and chatted. “As time went on, I watched her grow and mature, both academically and personally. By eighth grade she was striving for straight ‘As’ and she’s now a more focused student, ready for high school,” Lisa shared.

Through her relationship with Keyonna and other mentees, Lisa has seen the way she can make a difference for local kids just by showing up and being present. And it’s not only beneficial for the students; Lisa has also grown along the way.

“As a mentor, you can learn something about yourself – it’s a growth experience for both the mentee and the mentor,” she said. “It was so rewarding to see the kids’ excitement when they saw their mentors at school. And I knew I made an impact when Keyonna couldn’t wait for her mom to meet me.”

Reflecting on her experiences, Lisa shared, “Continuing with Be a Middle School Mentor year after year has only become more rewarding. Not only because of the chance to impact, but the opportunity to impact more.”

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is honored to celebrate 10 impactful years of our Be a Middle School Mentor program. You can make a difference for local kids by becoming a mentor today.

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