Mentorship program helps prevent, combat bullying

Mentorship program helps prevent, combat bullying

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

While bullying is mainly prevalent in middle school or high school, It is never too early to start addressing it with kids. For nine years, Tomorrow's Leaders has been mentoring a group of fifth graders throughout Lubbock ISD. 

One of it's main objectives is building social skills, which includes preventing bullying. Founder Noe Brito said these are the years mentors can really make a lasting impact. 

"One of the most traumatic times for children is when they transition from the fifth to the sixth grade," Brito said. "So we get them know and we just try to flood them with love and attention." 

Brito said they attend several events throughout the year to address tough topics. 

"Every event has something to do with simply social behavior, or cognitive development," Brito said. "Anything we can do to gather their attention and talk about these things if they haven't already confronted them, they will soon." 

One of the events, 'Straight Talk' is hosted by Texas Tech Health Science Center. 

"These are doctors and physicians that are in training that talk to our kids about the reality of sexual behavior, bullying, suicide," Brito said. "They kinda combine the gambit on things if these kids already haven't heard about, they will." 

Ramirez Elementary Principal Nancy Parker noticed the impact it has on her students, especially when it comes to addressing what bullying really is.

"You have to learn how to deal with those situations and this organization helps give those students the skills, the conversations that they need to have with one another so they'll know what to do when those situations arise," Parker said.

Brito is aware there is only so much his organization can do. 

"In society, our kids are so isolated," Brito said. "Once they leave school, they go home, they lock themselves in a room and they get behind these little machines."

He said exposure to violent video games, TV, and movies translates into real life. 

"They become colder and they become harder, and that's one thing we tell our kids, it's okay to be tough, actually you have to be tough, just don't get hard and by that we mean don't let your heart get hard," Brito said. "This gets hard then nothing matters, you become callous, you don't care, you start practicing negative behavior, acting out, it effects your school work." 

Brito said parents, unknowingly could be encouraging negative behavior.

"Parents I think we need to be more wise and look at their phones and ask questions and look at what their watching on TV and spend more time with them," Brito said.

Right now, Tomorrow's Leaders is at four elementary schools but Brito hopes to expand the volunteer-based program. Below is contact info if you are interested in volunteering or want your children to get involved. 

Noe Brito, Boys Program - (806) 632 9679

Sylvia Brito, Girls Program - (806) 445 6901 

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