Hillsborough County Public Schools presented the United States Attorney's Office with the Department of Education Family and Community Involvement Exemplary Program Award in recognition of the Lockhart Magnet School Lunch and Learn Mentoring Program. Mr. Thaddeus Bullard, aka WWE superstar Titus O'Neil, served as the keynote speaker for the 2016 Volunteer Awards.
Passion for community service, both personally and professionally, led Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Corinis and Lindsay Saxe Griffin to develop the Lockhart “Lunch Buddies” Program.
Through her experiences with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay program, Lindsay learned that the need for volunteers and mentors at Lockhart Elementary Magnet School was big. After meeting with the school’s guidance counselor, social worker, and school administrators, the two AUSAs invited some of their colleagues to have lunch with students, just to be listening ears. This was the begining of the "Lunch Buddies" Lunch and Learn Program. Working with the Lockhart staff, groups of 3-4 students were matched with each pair of volunteers.
Since October 2015, volunteers have visited with students during their 30 minute lunch period on a regular basis. The volunteer count has grown to 27 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and has expanded to include agents from DEA and ATF.
The Lockhart Lunch Buddies Program is truly making a difference.