Matagorda Mentoring Program Celebrates Success

On November 15, fourteen employees of Lyondell-Equistar Chemical were honored with a luncheon at Matagorda Elementary School. Students, parents and school administrators also attended the event, a token of appreciation for the employees who have been volunteering at the school once a week as mentors.

Begun in January 2004, as a collaboration between Lyondell-Equistar and the Matagorda Independent School District, the mentoring program has been highly successful. Mentors meet with individual students and share lunch, help with homework and talk about students’ plans for the future. Teachers report students participating in the program show greater self-esteem and academic interest.

To build the program, the school district approached the University of Houston-Victoria Letting Education Achieve Dreams (LEAD) initiative for their experience with mentoring endeavors. Lyondell-Equistar employees then attended LEAD mentoring training before beginning their work with the students.

Building on their success, Lyondell-Equistar will host a holiday event on December 15 for all Matagorda elementary students. The plant manager has committed to matching employee contributions towards a fund which will be used to buy pizza and gifts for the event. Students have been decorating stockings which will be hung in the school hallways and later stuffed by Lyondell-Equistar.

For more information on the partnership between Lyondell-Equistar and MISD, contact Leslie Keen at (979) 245-1225. To learn more about mentoring and the LEAD initiative, contact Rachel Trevino-Garcia as (361) 570-4146.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.