Hempstead native ‘gives back’ to local elementary students

Students in Hempstead attending the Arthur Morrison Mentors Program

Students in Hempstead attending the Arthur Morrison Mentors Program

Every community benefits when successful residents get involved in their former home town.

Hempstead native and an alumnus of Hempstead High School, Doron Spleen, 29, is one such person.

Spleen started the non-profit organization Arthur Morrison Mentors to offer Hempstead’s elementary school students extra tutoring in math, science and English.

The organization aims to provide third, fourth, and fifth graders the remedial support needed to meet heightened educational standards in New York State.

A majority of the demographic are considered to be ‘at-risk students’ in under-served communities and the service provided by AMM are free of charge.

“I remember the man that taught me math,” said Spleen, an IT professional and graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. “The sky is the limit when you have a solid foundation in math and science, especially as a minority,” he said.

AMM operates out of the Percy Jackson Memorial Youth Center on South Franklin Street in Hempstead where former Hempstead High School alums help out with the project along with trained educators.

The kids are dropped off at 10am on Saturdays and are given breakfast before starting lessons at 11am which go through to 2pm.

“The program still has a long way to go because we require funding that would allow us to realize our true goals of not only influencing these kids to do better, but in some way provide scholarships for graduates of the program when they reach college age,” said Spleen, in an interview at his Hempstead home.

“Anything that acts as an incentive that motivates these kids to do better is what I am all about, I want to give them the tools it takes to be competitive… everywhere they go, they will proudly say, ‘I am an Arthur Morrison Scholar,’ and that is the true aim of the program.”

Spleen is impressed with a turnout that sees at least 20 students in attendance and hopes to increase that number to 30.