Encouraging and Leading Kids to Succeed (E.L.K.S.) Career Coaches, Elk City Middle School and Elk City Education Foundation
Perry Bronn, a semi-retired construction business man from Elk City, has been named E.L.K.S. outstanding mentor in recognition of his committed and caring three-year relationship with his mentee, David, a ninth-grader at Elk City High School.
Danny McClure, E.L.K.S. mentoring director, said Bronn was one of the first to volunteer for the program and was a perfect choice to be paired with David, who at the time was a seventh-grader in need of a male influence. David was being raised with great love and care by his mother and grandmother, but needed a male role-model in his life.
“With two sons in the coaching and teaching business, Perry was very aware of some of the issues our kids are experiencing at home and at school,” McClure said. “He is a fine Christian man. He can be a friend, Dad and Granddad all rolled into one person. I felt he would be the perfect fit for David.”
David is always excited to spend time with his mentor and can cite to McClure the exact date and time of their next mentoring session. “He’s always excited to see him and talk about him,” McClure said.
Bronn has enjoyed attending David’s band performances and the two of them helped deliver Meals on Wheels to the elderly as a service project. He and David play games and spend time talking about the importance of education and working through life’s challenges.
“David has learned so much about becoming a young man,” McClure said, stating that he shows more responsibility and initiative. “Perry is responsible for a great deal of change in David’s life.”
Bronn said he is grateful to have the opportunity to be a mentor. “It’s a blessing to get to hang out with a young person like David and hopefully pass on some of the lessons I’ve learned in my own life to him.”
About the Program: Launched by Elk City Public Schools and the Elk City Education Foundation in 2017, Encouraging and Leading Kids to Succeed (E.L.K.S.) Career Coaches is a school-based mentoring program with an emphasis on relationship-building and career exploration for middle school students. The program recently expanded to ninth-grade, with plans to serve elementary and other high school grades in the future.