Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries in Boerne is helping transform lives for at-risk youth with the Stand By Me mentoring program.
The academy located at 140 Industrial Drive has been mentoring children for years. The idea is to take kids below the poverty line and give them extra academic and personal attention.
"They're kids who just need someone to believe in them," said Dianne Benac, Stand By Me director.
Students attend five days a week for eight weeks and get paid to show up. Middle school students get $50 while high school students get $100.
Program directors say the money helps families, but the bonds are about more than dollars and cents.
"When you open up your education, you open up the world, so it's one more step in that process of walking along side them," Agnes Hubbard, Executive Director at Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries.
The Genova Academy and the Bell Family Foundation have also helped set up the Stand By Me program.
All the children go to school in the Boerne Independent School District. Program officials said there are 42,000 people living under the poverty line in the counties served by Hill County Daily Bread. An estimated 17,000 to 18,000 of those are children.