GIBSONVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Students at Eastern Guilford High School might see some familiar faces on the first day of school and beyond: their dads and other male role models.  

The school is introducing a program to increase the amount of men volunteering in school to provide mentorship and support throughout the year.  

“They need that parental support. They need that adult support. They need those relationships to guide them in the right and positive direction and help coach them through mistakes,” Eastern Guilford High Principal Dr. Darrell Harris said.

Harris has spent his career at the high school level and knows teenagers need adults they can trust. 

Harris and his administrative team at Eastern Guilford high school are reaching out to dads.

“Because they want to be involved. We just don’t always ask them,” he said. 

They’re asking now because the need is high.  

“It takes a village. It takes all of our parents being engaged with us, and it would be awesome to see more of our dads,” Harris said. 

Students outside the high school hallways face a variety of challenges including socioeconomic stressors, single-parent households, and some even face homelessness. Harris says no matter what they deal with outside of Eastern Guilford, they have support.   

“As a father myself, I try to make sure that not only my kids at home but my kids here at Eastern know they are loved, supported and important.” 

Love and support motivated several dads to jump on board before the first day of school.  

“When Harris mentioned it I was like, ‘Man, that is awesome because these kids need it. They need somebody in their life … checking in on them … Sometimes they don’t get that at home,’” said dad Joshua Green.  

Another dad, Charles Elder, says he looks forward to helping more young men than just his own.

“For a young man … it’s very important to see that someone cares, someone is going to be there,” Elder said. 

It’s on his heart to serve Eastern’s teenagers. 

“I had a son that got taken … kind of early in years. He was 19. So for the rest of our sons, the rest of our children, we just stepped forward and pay it forward to be there for all kids and all teens,” he said 

He says what Harris is doing could change lives. 

“We want to change the culture of the school to let young ladies and young men know we are here,” Elder said. 

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Their first act together will be greeting students on the first day of classes.

Anyone interested in volunteering can reach out to the high school directly to learn about how to sign up to become a volunteer which involves a background check process.  

It doesn’t have to be just dads, either. All volunteers are welcome.