The Docket November 2020 - Page 15

By LISA KLEINBERG , Esq . Tannenbaum , Scro , Lemole and Kleinberg

School has started , and we focus our attention on the students we mentor through the mentor program , Faces of Accomplishment (“ FOC ”). Booker High School has a rigorous academic program , The Law Academy , structured and focused towards students who are interested in the legal field , whether it be a future attorney or in the area of law enforcement .

FOA matches students with adults to provide mentoring to the students for their high school career . To become a mentor , an application is made to FOA , an organization that provides mentors to all the high schools in the area . FOA conducts background checks including fingerprinting on all mentor applicants .
Most of the mentors of students in other schools or other programs will focus on engaging and encouraging the student to stay in school and graduate or guiding them toward a trade or craft to earn a living . In the Law Academy , the students are already focused on their future . The students are screened and vetted for their academics prior to being admitted into the program . Every student admitted into the program is already viewed as an exceptional and hardworking student .

We , the Sarasota Bar Association , have stepped up to provide more meaningful and focused attention to students in the Booker High School Law Academy . Dr . Rachel Shelley , the principal at Booker High School , has negotiated an agreement that students who graduate with a 3.0 GPA from the Law Academy have a direct and automatic admission into University of South Florida (“ USF ”), and when they graduate from USF they have an automatic admission into Stetson Law School . In short , when the students graduate from Booker High School Law Academy , they are already admitted into law school , if they so choose to follow that path . What an amazing opportunity they have been given . The goal is for them to come back and practice law here in Sarasota and become the future leaders of our community .

FACES OF ACCOMPLISHMENT SCBA mentors step up at Booker High Law Academy

Lisa Kleinberg , Esq . Tannenbaum , Scro , Lemole and Kleinberg
Some of these students come from underprivileged backgrounds and families . Many come from broken families . Others have no person in their family that has graduated from college . They do not have an adult available to them to properly guide them through the tasks , choices and hurdles that are ahead of them . The mentors serve to counsel students regarding school and testing issues , applying for scholarships , navigating financial aid , giving life advice if needed , and be available as an additional avenue of support .
My mentee , Marian , said “ Words cannot explain how supportive and encouraging Lisa has been to me . Through Faces of Accomplishment , I was able to form a more personal bond with someone I know will lend a hand for me in the near future . Lisa has become my role model . She has inspired me to broaden my identity with a law firm in the future and has shown me all things about leadership . That said , it is essential for students , like myself , to meet that someone who will guide and connect with them in all things , including law , to help them fulfil their dreams and ambitions .”
Ryan Kelly is the Faculty Director of the Law Academy . At the beginning of each school year he will survey the students to determine which would like to be paired with an attorney or law enforcement mentor . The parents are required to sign a document giving the mentor access to the student on campus and for access to their grades and teachers .
There is a time commitment , albeit not a large one . In this year of COVID-19 many of the students are learning remotely . If the student is attending the brick-and-mortar school , the mentors are encouraged to access their students at school for 30 minutes per week during their lunch break . If the students are
Lisa Kleinberg and her mentee , Marian .
remote learners , the mentor should access them by zoom or telephone . While mentors are encouraged to make contact with their student for 30 minutes per week , it is not mandatory , and more time is always welcome . My mentee and I decided that we preferred a bi-weekly schedule , and I would show up at school bringing her McDonald ’ s or Burger King or whatever other fast food that teenagers love . I also took her , with her parent ’ s permission , on college tours along with my children . ( That is not an expected task of a mentor .)

Prior to the school shut down last

spring because of the COVID-19 outbreak , the Sarasota County Bar Association mentors took the students on several exciting and educational field trips . The students have been on courthouse and jail tours , they saw the Women ’ s Suffrage Play , we took them to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare event at Michael ’ s on East in which Dr . Chippy Nalluri spoke , the ‘ Embracing Our Differences ’ Luncheon at Michael ’ s on East and the ‘ What We Don ’ t Think We Think ’ program on implicit bias and studies in unconscious decision making which was presented by Supreme Court
See MENTORS , Page 18
The Docket · November 2020 15