LB police chief to speak during breakfast meeting for local mentoring nonprofit

<strong>Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell recently joined the BLAST (Better Learning for All Students Today) board of directors.</strong>

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell recently joined the BLAST (Better Learning for All Students Today) board of directors.

The nonprofit Long Beach BLAST (Better Learning for All Students Today) will have its fourth annual fundraising breakfast at 7:30am on Wednesday, June 8, at the Long Beach Yacht Club, 6201 East Appian Way. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell will report on the state of youth in Long Beach.
BLAST mentoring programs place, train and support college volunteers at 20 school and community sites where they work one-on-one or in small groups with local at-risk children and youth. BLAST mentors provide academic assistance and enrichment activities that help these students succeed academically and set goals for their future. The mentors are also important role models for their “mentees,” who aspire to be college students, just like them.
Long Beach BLAST is in its eleventh year of operation. To date, it has made it possible for more than 7,000 disadvantaged kids to receive services from 5,167 college volunteers. In the current academic year, 2010-2011, BLAST supervised 652 college volunteer mentors, who provided services to 1,140 at-risk youth.
The volunteer mentors, college students from CSU Long Beach, CSU Dominguez Hills and LB City College, also benefit. They report that helping at-risk kids through BLAST allows them to learn their own class work better and to become confident contributors to their local community.
McDonnell recently joined the BLAST board of directors. “The BLAST program is an effective model of how to keep the kids who might otherwise end up in the criminal justice system in school, which is how they will succeed in life,” he said. “BLAST’s college mentors give the younger kids a vision of what their futures could look like and the encouragement to make that vision a reality.”
To purchase tickets for the breakfast or to make a donation to BLAST, visit lbblast.org or call (562) 437-7766 Ext. 200.

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