DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) -A non-profit in Duncan is looking to improve the lives of young people in Stephens County, one mentor at a time.
The group, 'One True Light,' held a luncheon Tuesday to recruit more mentors for their "Link ONE" mentorship program. The program connects community leaders and other volunteers with students in Duncan schools.
Right now, they have 68 mentors, but are hoping to increase that number to 75 for the rest of this current school year.
"I didn't really feel like I had a choice. It's just something my heart had to do," said Kathy Taylor, a retired teacher and mentor.
One hour a week is all it takes to make a difference in a young person's life.
"I've always been a kid person. I've always loved children. I want to help them and so I really couldn't say no," Taylor said.
For the past two years, Taylor has been a mentor to a 5th-grader. Taylor says the child has been through a rough couple of years, but now it's not only Taylor who sees the difference in him.
"The principal says he's showing a little bit more responsibility, a little bit more outlook on life," Taylor said.
It's those type of changes that single mother Julie Wymer says the program has helped bring to her two daughters. Those aren't the only changes Wymer has noticed since the girls have been in the program.
"Samantha would still be shy and closed up, and Allison still needed a lot on her work that I can't give her because I'm working or don't have enough time in the day," Wymer said.
In the end, Wymer and Taylor say they are grateful for the program.
"It makes me feel really good that they take time out of their day for my kids," Wymer said.
"It just totally blesses my heart that I'm able to maybe do a little something in his life to make a difference for him. It's just amazing," Taylor said.
If you'd like to be a mentor for Link ONE, it's not too late. The program links mentors up with children in kindergarten through 12th-grade. Ideally, the mentor and child stay connected until the student graduates high school.
Link ONE says they hope to eventually have around 125 mentors for the program. Mentors must be at least 18 years old and have their own transportation. You can learn more about the program and volunteer here.