Summer Bonanza is a youth mentoring program founded in 1991 by Retired Chatham County Commissioner, Dr. Priscilla D. Thomas. Her vision for this youth initiative continues to be administered: to provide activities addressing respectfulness, responsible choices, character, leadership, accountability, and moral behavior, while promoting health and wellness, cultural awareness, community service, and citizenship.
The program is available to Chatham County youth, ages 7-14, with a specific recruitment for children of lesser means and under-served. Partnerships are ongoing with businesses, community agencies, government entities, and educators, to facilitate classes, sponsor events, and/or provide financial support. To illustrate, Parent University is a collaborator providing tailored classes for the participants’ parents in conjunction with the schedule of events for the youth. Community volunteers are also encouraged to assist and to serve as mentors. Youth ages 15 and above, who have been in the program and actively involved for at least two years, can serve as junior volunteers. Overall, the program has impacted an estimated 5,000 youth and their families.