ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – A local mentorship program made getting senior pictures taken an extra special experience for some Escanaba students.
Youth Empowering Services (Y.E.S.) connects students with trustworthy adult mentors. Seniors at the Escanaba Area Public Schools Student Success Center meet with their mentors every Tuesday.
On Friday, however, they got to leave school in style to enjoy a day just for themselves.
“We wanted to offer them a senior photo experience,” said Y.E.S. Executive Director Tiffany Hewitt. “Vagary Photography is bouncing around with us to several locations. We also rented an Elite Limo bus and have the kids on a tour around some of our favorite spots and giving them an experience that they likely would not otherwise receive.”
Each senior got a set of professional photos taken at no cost, thanks to Youth Empowering Services and community donors.
“It wasn’t just about the cost but about doing something with their peers, knowing that the community cares about them,” Hewitt said. “Domino’s Pizza is delivering pizza for lunch, The Man Cave did some haircuts for us, and we had other family and friends that offered their time to make this happen today.”
It was an exciting way to get out of the classroom.
“I think it’s pretty fun,” said senior Gavin Sommers. “You get out of school for a little bit.”
“It’s pretty cool,” senior Tanner Peltin said. “The limo is dope. It’s got a lot of lights and music. The music bumps.”
It also brought the students one step closer to graduation.
“I’m going into nursing,” said senior Sophia. “I’m going to try to get my LPN.”
“I’m going to be a correctional officer,” senior Izzabella said. “I’m already in my college course for it. I’m taking criminal justice.”
Thanks to the dedication of their mentors and Youth Empowering Services, the seniors say they are feeling confident about life after high school.
“It’s helped me open up and be more myself,” Sophia said.
“It’s helped me a lot in the sense that if something comes up, I know how to handle it better with my emotions and things like that,” said Izzabella. “Before I wouldn’t have been able to do that as well.”
Youth Empowering Services is looking for more volunteers to join their team. If you are interested in mentoring a Delta or Menominee County student through Y.E.S., click here.
To raise funds for the program, Y.E.S. is hosting a Holiday Bash on December 7. Tickets are on sale now here.