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Newtons students need adult mentors
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Micah Williams teaches children courage, discipline and respect as a karate sensei. Many of the teenagers who need those lessons the most, are the ones who will never enter Williams’ studio, which is why he’s considering becoming a mentor to a student in the Newton County School System.

Williams was one of several people who attended a Thursday evening reception for Newton Mentoring, a non-profit group that matches adult mentors with students who are struggling academically or emotionally.

Margaret Washington, director of Newton Mentoring, said she needs male mentors in particular because more and more young men are growing up without a father figure. The presence of a strong male role model is one of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed in high school. In addition, boys are more likely to suffer from learning disorders, abuse illegal substances and commit crimes.

Being a mentor only requires adults to give up one hour of their time per week. The idea is to create a stable, weekly routine in a child’s life. Mentors must also complete an application, submit to and pass a background check and attend a two-hour training session.

Newton Mentoring currently has about 88 mentors who are helping students in 14 Newton County schools. For more information, contact Washington at or 678-381-7948, or visit the organization’s website at