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Cool at School: Manor Middle School pairs up with Project MALES

Manor Middle School students pair up with Project MALES. (CBS Austin)

Manor Middle School teams up with Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) for a first of a kind mentoring program at Manor ISD. College undergrad students return to the classroom at least once week.

Jorge Rodriguez is with Project MALES, and has spent this semester getting to know these students, "We want to talk about sports, social media, tv, entertainment, we want to know what interests them" he said. Rodriguez says in many cases some of undergrad students, can relate to these junior high school children, "We went through bullying, through school struggles, sometimes we didn't get a meal to eat. They are like oh wow I am not alone in this. Let me talk to you," he shared.

Seventh grader Tony Navarro says he's experienced bullying and meeting with Project MALES helps him know his value and find ways to overcome stuff like this, "We get to talk to them about how we feel. What we can probably do in the future. How we can achieve it. It feels good because whenever you are feeling down, you can just come to them and they give you a boost," he said.

Classmate David Campbell likes the near to peer approach, "It's really nice, because I can actually feel better about telling it someone, than not telling it to someone and hiding it," he said.

Talks between mentors and student, can often lead to the future. What these students want to become after middle and high school. For seventh grader Angel Mercado, it's simple, “I think about my parents, my family, one day if they become sick, I can become a doctor and I can help them," he said.

College students helping younger scholars is what makes the kids of Manor Middle School and Project MALES cool at school.

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