HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A good mentor is invaluable to a young person’s life. As adults, we cherish those who supported us along the way, knowing that their time and efforts were crucial to getting us to where we are. In short, mentors are heroes.

According to data from the nonprofit organization Mentor, students in elementary through high school who have the support of mentors are 55% more likely to enroll in college, 78% more likely to volunteer in their communities, 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities and 130% more likely to hold a leadership position in a club or sports team.

Starting this summer, Henrico County Public Schools will be recruiting mentors for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for its yearlong mentorship program, Henrico Heroes.

Those who wish to become a mentor must first submit an application through the program’s website, complete a background check and attend a two-hour training session either online or in-person. The first virtual training session will be held in August, while in-person sessions will begin in September at the Strawberry Ballroom in the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center.

Those who are picked to participate in the Henrico Heroes program must commit for one year, starting in October through May 2023. During that time, mentors will visit with their assigned mentees once a week for 30 to 45 minutes. At the end of the program, mentors will be asked to attend a closing event or ceremony to support their mentees.

More information can be found on the program’s website. Individuals who are interested in learning more or have questions are encouraged to email Leslie Velez at Lvelez@henrico.k12.va.us and Raven Walker at raven.walker@henrico.k12.va.us, or call 804-640-7021.