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Tiger buddies pair students with adult mentors
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Vice Principal Lori Guzman-Alvarez talks to students involved in the program. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin

Adriana Torres had a rough start to the school year.

The Sequoia student was ill during that time, missing the first week of school. But rather than allowing the youngster to fall further behind in school, Sharon Melcher, her algebra teacher, decided to take Torres under her wings.

The two are among the over 70 pairs of student-adult mentors involved in the second-year Tiger Buddy program.

Lori Guzman-Alvarez, who is the vice principal at the school, along with last year principal, Jacqui Breitenbucher, helped organize the group consisting of parents, teachers, staff members, and volunteers matched up with at-risk students.

“These were students having a tough time in school,” said Guzman-Alvarez at Thursday’s Tiger Buddy kick-off event held in the multi-purpose facility.

Throughout the year, the student-adult pairing met on a regular basis to hammer out school work or talk about any problems for that matter.

For the mentors, it was important to “make a difference,” according to Guzman-Alvarez.

“I got my Tiger Buddy to graduate,” said Melcher, who was also involved in last year’s program.

She’s looking forward to doing the same with Torres.

The Sequoia youngster was pleased to be paired with her teacher.

To reach reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail