Alcovy Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Horace Johnson saw how mentoring programs can have a positive impact on communities during his time in Leadership Georgia about 14 years ago. Since then, he – along with a group of passionate volunteers – has created a mentoring program in Newton County.
Johnson said he came home from his Leadership Georgia trip excited and enlisted the help of community members, fellow judges and businesspeople in the community and got Newton Mentoring Inc. off the ground. Newton Mentoring Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 that offers a “transformative” experience for mentors and mentees.
“Everybody talks about having a more fulfilling community life for us all, including safety and all of the things we want in life fulfilling community life,” he said. “And I think this program offers an opportunity for you to make a very small commitment of time and effort.”
Newton Mentoring volunteers are asked to commit one-hour per week to visit with their mentee at their respective school. The program allows students and mentors the chance to talk and interact with people who they normally wouldn’t come in contact with.
“That’s the beauty and simplicity of the program,” Johnson said.
“It is a chance to talk and interact in things and opportunities and spaces to help you to know that there’s more life has to offer than what you might be experiencing in your space here in Newton County and for some kids that’s huge.”
Johnson urges local businesses, churches and organizations to encourage employees and members participation in the mentorship program by offering an hour off once a week to go to the schools. He said Newton Mentoring is unlike other non-profits, because it does not ask for a monetary donation, but a donation of time.
“We need people power, that’s what we need,” he said.
Johnson said he was blessed to have good parents and teacher role models growing up and he wants to make sure all children in Newton County also have that story to tell. Serving as a judge in the local Superior Court has continued to drive Johnson to make a difference.
“Most of the time, unfortunately, every person that gets in trouble didn’t wake up and decide they were going to be that way,” he said. “I think we can save more than we lose if we put in a little bit of effort – just a little bit of effort and a little bit of love. That drive me and I realize that because I have been blessed I’m called to give more.”