Fort Ti hosts area CFES students

TICONDEROGA - Most people visit Fort Ticonderoga to learn about "America's fort."

Yet the 50 students from schools throughout the Adirondack region who came to the Fort's Mars Education Center recently weren't thinking about the site's history. Quite the opposite. They were arming themselves for the future by sharing ideas and activities with their fellow students from around the region.

A Peer Mentoring Best Practices Workshop was held at the fort.

The Adirondack schools represented at the workshop are among the 130 schools and districts nationwide that are part of College For Every Student. Based in Cornwall, Vt., CFES is a nonprofit organization committed to helping under-served youth prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college.

"Today was a fabulous networking opportunity," said Missy Wilkins, CFES director of mentoring. "Everyone had something of value to share, and everyone left energized and fortified with new ideas that will strengthen their mentoring programs."

The 50 Adirondack students, ranging from grades 4-12, came from as far away as Keeseville and Fort Covington and as close by as Ticonderoga. Yet in spite of their regional commonality, each school's program was unique in design and appeal.

Ticonderoga wants to try out Northern Adirondack's Relay for Life and mentor-mentee breakfasts next year. Keeseville Elementary School students wanted to hear more about Ticonderoga's annual kayaking trip and recent fundraising efforts for a mentor-mentee trip to Boston.

"It is good to hear what other schools in the area are doing for mentoring because you can't stand still. You have to hear from others to keep growing and learning. Even little ideas can morph and grow into something unexpected, something exciting," said Samantha Eggleston, middle school guidance counselor at Ticonderoga.

Following the workshop, the students had lunch and toured the fort prior to heading back to their schools.

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