First Posted: 8/15/2010 11:00:01 PM | Last Updated: 8/17/2010 10:47:19 AM
BY ANDRA HILLIS, OURTOWN.COM
LAFAYETTE -- Lending a hand in guiding youths towards a brighter future, Broncho Dads, is a prime example of a group giving back to their community.
Broncho Dads reaches out to the students of Jefferson High School who may not have steady guidance at home. This organization is even attempting to implement a scholarship fundraiser this summer to aid those who may not meet the usual scholarship requirements.
Broncho Dads came about three years ago, when various groups from local schools attended a series of seminars in Indianapolis. The seminars were directed at increasing parental involvement within the schools. With the lessons learned at these seminars in hand, Broncho Dads took form.
Broncho Dads is a volunteer mentoring group made up mostly of local fathers. Members have an assortment of reasons for volunteering for this program.
Broncho Dad Dennis Martin says he volunteers because, “he’s able to. So many men are locked into time clock jobs, whereas he’s very lucky because his boss is very family oriented. Also, the schools do need help.”
In addition, Martin says he simply, “loves being around kids.”
The tremendous volunteers of Broncho Dads have set a goal to raise money this summer for their scholarship fund. Although still in its early stages, Broncho Dads’ scholarship fund is looking to raise money to enable students to attend college, who may not otherwise have the means to do so.
This summer is Broncho Dads’ first major fundraiser. A few highlights of Broncho Dads’ summer plans, according to dedicated Broncho Dad Mike McShurley, are to “participate in all of the Downtown Lafayette (Mosey Down Main Street) selling peanuts to raise scholarship money. We are also planning on activities with a few of the local restaurants.”
There are numerous success stories stemming from the hours of mentoring put forth by Broncho Dads volunteers. The volunteers feel a strong sense of gratification through their own personal experiences with the program.
Martin says that there are, “a lot of success stories. A lot (of the students) have some pretty serious challenges, and to see them smiling because someone cares enough to ask about how they’re doing, is very rewarding.”
McShurley, on the other hand, believes that the greatest reward of being a Broncho Dad is, “being around all the kids. If even one child a day thinks they have had a positive experience, even something as simple as helping to open a locker, then the day has been a great one.”
Broncho Dads is a top example of how volunteering can have a positive outcome for both the members of the program, as well as its volunteers.