Mentoring program at Laurel high school is on the verge of disco - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Mentoring program at Laurel high school is on the verge of discontinuation

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On Monday, KULR-8 spoke about the mentor program at Laurel High School .The program is on the verge of collapse because of state budget cuts affecting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County. We spoke to one student in the Billings mentoring program who talked about why these programs are important.

Gage Cook is a little brother in the mentoring program in Billings in which the school district is now facilitating. The 13-year-old has been involved in the program for the past two years. He said the program had helped him personally and socially and benefits the kids around the community.

Brent Edgemond is the school counselor at Laurel High School and says the budget cuts have already had an impact to the mentor program at the high school. He said last year, more than 80 students were involved in the program. This year, that number has been cut in half.

"To lose the program overall would be terrible," Edgemond said. "It's really hard for the Bigs, but I think it has a much larger impact on the Littles not having that support that they get."

"It changes your life. When i first went to Riverside, I had a bad attitude and I didn't have a lot of friends because of that," Cook said. "When i started the mentoring program, that changed. I was fun to be around."

Executive Director Regina Griemsman with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County said the organization will make a final decision in March whether or not the program will be discontinued.

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