FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - It was a celebration of success at Harrison Hill Elementary School Thursday.
Students and Teachers Achieving Real Success, or S.T.A.R.S., has taken place since 1998.
Ryan Bland was in the original group of students in the program and he says it helped him succeed.
"At the time I never thought that it would live this long but I'm glad that it did," Bland said. "It lets me know that something great was started years ago, you know, something that we thought was small at the time but was big to us impacted this school greatly."
The program provides kids with a mentor.
That mentor helps the student learn how to be successful in school and how to find solutions for things they might be dealing with.
Current principal Shannon Rodgers says she can see a difference in the kids once they've started the program.
"They see those small successes every day with students and that gives us the passion and the drive to carry this program on year after year because we know what a difference it does make for different kids and we get to see that daily," Rodgers said.
As the program celebrates twenty years, many are reflecting on the longevity and the lives touched.
Kimberly Brooks was one of the original mentors in the program and says at the time never thought about the big impact this would have.
"You know, it's a little bit bittersweet when you realize that was twenty years ago," Brooks said. "That was a long time ago but, you know, it's heart warming to know that what we were able to come up with back then is still in existence to this day and still is making a positive impact."