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New Mentoring Program for Wicomico County Inmates

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- There is a new mentoring program at the Wicomico County Detention Center for inmates looking for some help getting their life back on track.

Ron Pagano is a volunteer mentor in the "Involved Parents, Productive Students" mentoring program, which has teamed up with the detention center.

"On a one-to-one level, as a mentor, I'm not there to tell them what to do or make them think like I do," said Pagano. "It's to be able to listen to what their dreams are, listen to what their ideas are and why they feel they're in the position they're in and then just kind of give my own response."

The partnership between the detention center and program was announced Monday.  The first inmates eligible will be in the male population in the work release facility.  Once the program gets going, it will be opened up to females also.

"These people have families," said Robert Williams, the program's executive director. "And whether it is a male or female, they have kids.  Most of the ones I've talked to have kids.  They're the role models for those children and if we don't do anything about it as a society, to me it is just a continuing cycle of the same thing."

The detention center already has people lined up for the program, and there is already a small group of volunteers ready to lend an ear and offer some words of advice.  But the more people involved, the better.

"It doesn't matter what kind of background you have.  I don't care if you pick up garbage or do nothing but make garbage, it doesn't matter because everybody has something that they can share in their lives that's going to make a difference in someone else's life," said Pagano.

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can contact the program's executive director, Robert Williams at (443) 896-3309 or at rwill52618@aol.com.

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