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Mentorship program hopes to give Dunbar High School students father figures

The program brings dads and father figures from the community together to mentor students who may not have that kind of support at home.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Long before the first school bell rang Friday morning, students at Dunbar High School in Fort Worth crowded the library for a message of hope. 

During a monthly session with the Dads of Dunbar Mentorship Program, professional football player Ashton Lampkin spoke with students about finding success and entrepreneurship.  

“Never give up,” Lampkin said. “This is very important to me, cause I came from this area, this high school. We have to build our community up and it starts with us.” 

The Dads of Dunbar Mentorship Program is a collaboration between Fort Worth ISD, community leaders, and the Witherite Law Group. It brings dads and father figures from the community together to mentor students who may not have that kind of support at home.  

Nicholas Smith, a paralegal with the Witherite Law Group, is one of several mentors. 

“For these students that are here, whether you have a father in the home or outside of the home, you have a father here at Dunbar High School," Smith said. 

Together, the group tackles some of life’s biggest lessons. They discuss everything from landing a job interview, to scholarships, and even difficult conversations about race. 

Jonathan McLane, a sophomore student-athlete at the school, said the guidance has helped him tremendously, and the support goes beyond the classroom. 

“It means a lot coming up in this area with the stuff going on,” McLane said. “It really means a lot when people are actually trying to help out the community.”

Another student, Jordan McIntosh, told WFAA she gets up extra early to make the morning meetings, it means that much to her. She walked away with a feeling of inspiration after Friday’s discussion. 

“The big message that I got is never give up,” McIntosh.  

It’s those positive affirmations that can set the tone for a positive day and positive lives.