-

Guest speaker Sarah Poarch speaks to members of the Emporia Rotary Club about the E-commUNITY mentoring program Tuesday afternoon at Shoney’s Restaurant.

When Sarah Poarch retired from teaching in June, it did not stop her from working on her calling. Her mission of helping youth reach their potential continues with the soon-to-be E-commUNITY mentoring program.

“As I look at this program, and I look at what has gone on in our society, our communities, nationally, statewide and locally, this program has a lot of relevance in our society today.”

Poarch hopes to have the program up and running by Feb. 1. First things first, E-commUNITY is searching for mentors. E-commUNITY is designed for mentors with specific skills, goals, and desires for the community.

Mentors of different skill sets reach more members of the community. Whether it’s an athlete, writer, or a person that is good at chess, there is a youth the mentor can reach.

A similar program for youth in Greensville Elementary kicked off four years ago. Poarch said many of those students will soon be entering high school, and she expects to see a positive change.

The E-commUNITY leans heavily on the Seven Habits in Our Community (S.H.O.C.) used by the TopHand Foundation in Emporia. Poarch said the curriculum teaches individuals how to be proactive, set goals, prioritize, synergy, and get along with others.

Poarch hears discussions of what needs to happen to help youth in the Emporia-Greensville community. Unfortunately, talks are often all that comes forward.

“I’m a person of faith, and I believe the power of prayer,” Poarch said. “I also believe we have to put some hands and feet to it.”

Typically, mentors meet with their mentees weekly. The E-commUNITY program runs until June. For those interested in becoming a mentor, or details of the program, call Sarah Richardson at 434-336-1950 or by email at tophandfoundation@gmail.com.