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Local Architect Builds Foundation With A Struggling Student

Bob Everett and mentee, Angel, working together on an architecture project, as part of the Norwalk Mentor Program.
Bob Everett and mentee, Angel, working together on an architecture project, as part of the Norwalk Mentor Program. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk-based architect, Bob Everett is drafting a unique way to help mentor a young student. 

Everett currently volunteers as a mentor in the Norwalk Mentor Program, a lower Fairfield County organization which pairs students with adult volunteers. 

The longest-running and one of the most acclaimed school-based mentoring programs in the country, the Norwalk Mentor Program was established in 1986 and is now a program of the Human Services Council. The program’s original mission remains unchanged more than three decades later: matching students with positive adult role models to make a significant difference in the lives of those students served.

Everett and his mentee, Angel, a middle school student, have been meeting weekly for over a year. In an effort to challenge and educate Angel, Everett has begun working on an architecture project with his mentee. The two are designing and building a model home and Everett explains how buildings are constructed. "So many things are good in this world, including this program at the Norwalk Schools," said Everett. "Since I became a mentor, it's had a tremendous impact on me, and evidently, on my mentee."

Helping to enrich Angel's academic and social experience, Everett is using this architecture project as a way to connect with Angel. According to program director, Nancy Pratt, Angel's grandmother completed a survey, indicating that he is more self-confident, his grades are better and his attitude towards school is better since being matched with a mentor. “Bob is making a positive impact on Angel, just as the program’s more than 250 other mentors are doing for their mentees," said Pratt. 

In order to provide mentors to more students, the Norwalk Mentor Program established HEROES -- Helping Enrich Relationships of Every Student -- which allows donors to sponsor a mentor/mentee and be involved in a different way. “A HEROES sponsor can provide additional support, without the commitment of meeting a child once a week," said Julie Lewis, program assistant of the Norwalk Mentor Program. “It helps the program grow so that we can match more mentors with students”.

Consider becoming a HERO and making a difference in a child’s life, whether you're a company or an individual who wants to give back to the community. For more information, contact Julie Lewis at or 203-849-1111 x 3002 or visit