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Local middle school celebrates male mentors

October 30, 2019
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Lehigh Acres Middle School held its fourth annual Male Mentors Day on Friday as part of Make a Difference in the Life of a Child.

The event featured guest speakers and other events that exposed students to positive male role models and the impact they can have on a child's success and development.

The recognition of mentors within the school was started four years ago by former math teacher Mary Meador.

Article Photos

Lehigh Acres Middle School students welcomed guests.


According to school counselor Dr. Patrick Davis, the goal of the day was to show that schools are focused on supportive ways to educate the whole child, and mentoring is an important step in achieving that goal.

The morning's activities began with a continental breakfast for mentors and their students, followed by a brief introduction from Davis who thanked all for their participation.

"It humbles me that so many people showed up to this event. It shows how much they care," Davis said.

Lehigh Acres Middle School Principal Mr. Brian Gibson then took the podium to talk about what being a mentor means and how his own mentors played an integral role in his development.

"A mentor is someone who coaches someone, who helps you towards your personal goals and gives you a sense of life. As well as that person that is your biggest cheerleader in life. Today we are here to celebrate the men and women who have made an impact on mentoring our Bruin scholars. Relax, have fun and enjoy the food and the bonding time with your mentor," Gibson said.

Gibson then introduced the day's guest speaker Robert Codie, who is currently the director of Public Transportation at LeeTran.

Codie began his talk recognizing the mentors in the room and his greatest mentor his father.

"If you are a mentor of a student, not only your child, but another child, I give you nothing but praise. I applaud you for what you are doing. Your impact will be more profound then you will ever know," Codie said. "I grew up socially and economically disadvantaged but never knew that because my father was always there to provide that mentor."

He pointed out mentors can also be found in our schools.

"I had great mentors in school, my teachers. It's because of these people that I stand here before you today. Education is at the core of everything you do. Success is a choice and you have to choose that. We can lead you to the end of that road, that traffic signal, but you have to cross that street on your own. Take that leap of faith," Codie said.

One mentor in attendance, Lehigh Middle's PE Coach Angel Morales, came with both his students, Anthony and Bajah.

"I started at the school a year ago. I enjoy helping out kids in the community. Some of them grow up in violence or a difficult situation. I want to help show them there is more than they realize. Open their eyes to explore other opportunities in life," Morales said.

Following the guest speaker, the school's reading instructor Mr. Hernandez introduced a few students who spoke about the various programs offered at the school.

Student Mathew Clarke introduced the AVID program. Lehigh Middle is one of two local schools that offers the program.

Another student spoke briefly about the Cambridge program, which if completed provides the student a full tuition to the school of their choice.

For Gibson, the day is a reminder of his own mentor.

"My grandfather was my mentor. I was raised here in Fort Myers by my grandparents. He taught me what it is to be a man, be responsible, balance a check book and raise a family. As a mentor you are sowing that seed, so that seed can be sown in someone else. It will come back to you three times more when it comes back to you," Gibson said.

Gibson's wife is also currently the principal at Lehigh's Sunshine Elementary.

Lehigh Acres Middle School is at 104 Arthur Ave. in Lehigh Acres. For more information on the school visit



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