At the Sophisticated Gents of Florida, we believe in the power of continuing, long-term mentoring relationships to help students succeed. We partner with high schools in Marion, Lake, and Sumter counties of Central Florida; our volunteers commit to mentor high school students for a three-year period.
Upon graduation and successful application to a recognized higher education facility, the student may apply for a scholarship. Please see our Scholarship Initiative page for details and to download an application.
The Sophisticated Gents Youth Mentoring Program at Leesburg High School, Lake County, Florida was started during the 2016 school year. Working with school administrators and guidance counselors, our four “Gents” (as we fondly refer to ourselves) mentors developed a list of academic and social goals that we hoped to accomplish with our mentees.
Because we work with at-risk young men, usually each mentor is responsible for one mentee; but under some
circumstances he can have up to two. Our program is gender-specific, but racially mixed.
Each mentor tries to meet with his mentee(s) at school at least once per week to provide guidance or any help they may need. The Gents program manager, Mr. Mike Napier, is at the school 5 days a week to provide an extra layer of support in the event a mentee needs immediate assistance.
In addition to our regular weekly meetings, we endeavor to expose ourmentees to positive outside influences such as lunches at various Country Clubs in The Villages. We also host pizza parties for our mentees, where the school Principal or another member of the school administration is always in attendance.
Any Gents interested in participating in our Leesburg High School Youth Mentoring Program should contact Mr. Napier for information.
Excerpts of Letter of Thanks from Leesburg High School Guidance Counselor:
"I would just like to THANK YOU ALL again for your continued support and patience with our young men. They are still a work in progress, but I think today was a productive bonding experience. The young men got to experience something new with you outside of the school environment, which humanizes your role in their life outside of the school entity. Hopefully, this will transfer over in your weekly meeting sessions and forward progress can be made. I am humbled and honored to work with you all as you are the most wonderful group of individuals. I am excited about where our Sophisticated Gents Youth Mentoring program is going and hope it continues to flourish..."