How much difference can one-on-one time for one hour,
once per week, make in the life of one child?

The answer to that question is visible every week on the faces of the students, as volunteers enter into supportive and caring relationships with them. It is in these relationships that at-risk school children are given the emotional, social, and academic support they need to succeed. The transformation may seem to start small, beginning with simple changes in attitude and behavior, yet couple this with increased attendance and academic performance, and you have one hour a week which truly changes a child’s life.

Launched in 2002, our Mars Hill Mentorship Program began with the goal of connecting every student at Burton Elementary who desired a mentor with a caring adult from our community. Over the years, we’ve grown to be one of the largest school-based mentoring programs in the country, and have been labelled a “Premier” national program. As our program has grown, however, so has our awareness of the great need that surrounds us. So while Burton Elementary has always and will remain the primary focus for our Mars Hill community, we launched a new non-profit mentoring organization, Affinity Mentoring, in 2016. As a separate organization, Affinity Mentoring will be able to partner with local corporations to expand our impact and connect every student in West Michigan that desires a mentor with a caring adult.

Visit to learn more about how you can take part.

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