Sammamish Review – November 3, 2004
By Autumn Koepp
A popular mentoring program that started at Skyline High School is now catching on at Eastlake.
“Yes, this is our first full school year at Eastlake,” said Ken Moscaret, who founded Athletes For Kids a few years ago. “We have a very small founding group – only three mentors – but they are all pushing hard to recruit 10 to 12 athlete mentors this year.”
The program matches high school athletes with students who have disabilities.
“It’s been so much fun just being a mentor and friend,” said Lauren Wotherspoon, an Eastlake student and volleyball player who is mentoring a fifth-grader named Megan. “She will have so much fun when we hang out, just because I’m older.”
Wotherspoon said she was partnered with Megan in August, and so far has played the card game Go Fish and danced to music with her new friend.
Moscaret’s son was the first special-needs student who was matched up with an athlete, Skyline’s Simi Reynolds.
“These athletes have star power in their local community,” Moscaret said. “Everyone looks up to them and knows them. On the other hand, kids with disabilities are rejected by everybody except by their families and are often made to feel terrible. That star power from the athletes helps bring those kids out of their shells and makes them feel special.”
Since its inception at Skyline, the program has expanded to Eastlake and Issaquah high schools.
“We are looking to expand to two more high schools next year,” Moscaret said. “Liberty high is a candidate, and perhaps one of the four Bellevue high schools.”
The three new mentors at Eastlake – Wotherspoon, Anna Allan and A.J. Jergens – are now looking for fellow students to join the program, which will accept applications for new mentors until Dec. 15.