All kids need is a little help, a little hope,
                                 and someone who believes in them. 
                                                                                    Earvin "Magic" Johnson

St. Petersburg Police Invest in Youth

"Sometimes in my daily activity I see discouraging things. Participating in Lunch Pals restores my faith, and gives me hope for the future."                          Officer Vaughn Murphy
Hope, inspiration, sharing interests - all goals we have in mind for the students' Lunch Pals experiences. But the students are not the only ones having these "ah ha" moments - the mentors are, too. "You go to a school to mentor a student and be that example, but they teach you way more than you teach them!" added Officer Murphy, who meets weekly with John Hopkins Middle School 6th graders, Zion and Landen.
Detective Kenneth Miller enjoys being reminded of what it's like to be a kid again as he shares sports interests and helps with goal setting when meeting weekly with Dajon, a 5th grader at Fairmount Park Elementary.
Dajon shared, "I like that he is someone I can always talk to.
He helps me understand why it's important for me to get my
Detective Miller and Dajon
homework done and behave right at school, home and in my neighborhood. We talk about how to make the right choices and stay away from bullying. He helps me to be a good person."
We are grateful for the many beneficial relationships being built, with more than 30 students enjoying the positive presence of St. Petersburg Police Department mentors. Mentors were placed at a variety of schools in close proximity to the areas of the city in which the staff serve.
Recognizing the potential of mutually beneficial relationships, Chief Anthony Holloway shared his 100 percent endorsement of employees' involvement by promoting and hosting an on-site mentor training.
"This inaugural Lunch Pals partnership year has been promising.  Our personnel who have
committed to volunteering in the program have gained inner satisfaction in knowing that through their efforts they have inspired growth and development of our young citizens.  Their willingness to use their gifts and abilities has strengthened the mission of the program and has set an example in giving. Listening, encouraging, and just being there on a consistent basis have all helped to increase their mentees' self-esteem and self-assurance, traits that will serve them well into the future."                                   Chief Anthony Holloway
What are the three best things about being a Lunch Pals mentor? Detective Miller's response summed up goals of the partnership well. "The interaction with students, the opportunity to debunk myths about law enforcement and the opportunity to help students be comfortable with police as relationships are built."
Both Officer Murphy and Detective Miller shared similar motivations for getting involved - simply giving back wherever they were needed most in the communities they serve professionally on a daily basis.
"It's our job to fill them up with positive things. If we don't someone else will be there to do the opposite," shared Officer Murphy.
Thank you, St. Petersburg Police Department, for your professional and volunteer investments in our youth, schools and community!

Tampa Bay Times Lunch Pals Feature

We are grateful to our friends at the Tampa Bay Times for their recent article that is helping to promote Lunch Pals participation. Please check it out and share it on social media and by email!
                                                                                                   Tampa Bay Times Lunch Pals article
Lunch Pals Mentor Chats

Many of you expressed interest in having opportunities to talk about your mentoring experience. As we look forward to putting some webinars or in-person sessions together for the new school year, we're interested in hearing from you about what you'd like to see included.
  Please send your questions, comments, thoughts, and items of interest that we can speak to by email to: Susan Schneck, Lunch Pals Coordinator, at

               Thoughts Before Actions

     Have you had that moment when you've said something
     and regretted it? Everyone, including the students
     we mentor, can experience this weakness from time to 
     time. Check out tips and activities to use with your 
     student to help them think about their words before they 
     say them at  Think Before You Speak Activities 
Thank you, Lunch Pals Partners!
We're so greatful for your presence in our schools and look forward to working with you to grow your participation in the new school year.
Ajax Building Corporation
Junior League of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg College - Gibbs
Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
St. Petersburg College - Midtown
Calvary Chapel Pinellas Park
St. Petersburg College - Seminole
Our Savior Lutheran Church
St. Petersburg Police Department
City of Clearwater
Pinellas County Office of the County Administrator
City of Dunedin Pinellas County Schools
Southside St. Petersburg P.T.A.
City of Gulfport
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
City of Largo
Pinellas County Urban League Young Professionals
State Attorney 6th Judicial Court
City of Pinellas Park
Pinellas Sheriff's Police Athletic League, Inc.
Stetson University College of Law
City of St. Petersburg
Public Defender 6th Judicial Court
Stonegate Mortgage
Cox Media
Raymond James
Tampa Bay Times
Eckerd College
Tech Data
FIS Global
R.S.V.P. (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)
Transamerica Financial
Friends of North Shore Elementary School
St. Paul United Methodist Church

United States Coast Guard Air Station - Clearwater
Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association
St. Petersburg College - Allstate
University of South Florida - St. Petersburg
Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services
St. Petersburg College - Clearwater
Vertical Ventures
Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
St. Petersburg College - Clearwater: BADEYA
West Pharmaceutical
                                              St. Petersburg College - Downtown
Lunch Pals Mentor Chats
Many of you expressed interest in having opportunities to talk about your mentoring experience. As we look forward to putting some webinars or in-person sessions together for the new school year, we're interested in hearing from you about what you'd like to see included.
  Please email your questions, comments, thoughts, and items of interest that we can address to: Susan Schneck, Lunch Pals Coordinator, at
Mentor Question: What do I need to know as the end
of the school y ear approaches?
As we enter into the last few months of school, please ask
 your school contact person to let you know how any testing
affects your student's lunch schedule and what the last day
will be for mentoring. Remember, due to the earlier start time for the beginning of the school year, this year's last day of school will be May 25th!
As that last day of mentoring approaches, have some positive, honest and supportive conversations with your student to reflect on your time together and review the progress your student has made throughout the year.
To get some ideas, check out the End of the School Year List.

                                       Attention: Mentors of Students in 5th Grade & Up      


        Did you know there is a great scholarship opportunity for

        6th - 12th grade students? Successful participation in

        Take Stock in Children Pinellas can result in a student

                                         receiving a free college education!


                                         Take a look at the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Details 

                                         to learn about the qualifications and how a student is 


  We Invite Your Feedback
Do you have a question about your experience? Is there a suggestion you'd like to make to help our program continue to grow and improve? Please feel free to communicate your thoughts - it's very helpful to hear your feedback!

                                         Susan Schneck, Lunch Pals Coordinator    
                            727-588-6000 ext. 1369
For quick access to mentoring program resources, go to:
For more information on mentoring go to:


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