Chandler Morris went through a lot growing up and wanted to make a difference.
Morris joined the Love-A-Child mentoring program and started with one student. That soon led to more.
“I started with a kid at Eastern Elementary and they asked me to take a second,” Morris said. “I like helping kids. I moved here two years ago not really knowing anyone. The kids brightened my Fridays.”
Morris became an FFA officer, a Pleasureville Fire Department Volunteer and mentored children while working at the Pleasureville gas station and helping his uncle in tobacco.
“I get them organized with their homework and rewarded them for a good week if they did what they were supposed to do and a better reward if they had a good month,” Morris said. “One of the students had gotten suspended so there were behavior issues, but I love seeing the then and now of where the kids are now and where they were.”
Morris had family complications growing up and moved to Henry County two years before he graduated last week. He plans to go in to the National Guard. He will attend basic training at Ft. Jackson, S.C.
“I want to get my EMT and paramedic training, “Morris said. “I want to help my country any way I can. “
Morris hopes to keep in contact with the students he mentored and hopes to see them before he leaves for six months of basic training.
Amber Manns, Nikki Buckley, Jessie Carothers and Shannah Lay also participated in the mentoring program . Manns said the program influenced her decision to pursue a career involving children.
“Because of the mentoring program, I have decided to become a pediatric surgeon,” Manns said. “I believe that I have chosen this career because it involves helping a child in a drastic way. I want to help and I feel that I have found my calling.”