Hollywood police reach out to children through mentorship program

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

In her teal Cowboy hat, Hollywood police Officer Kerry Donahue is hard to miss at Marlins game with her side-kick mentee, 9-year-old Jasmine Pierre.  

The two are regulars at games and a lot of other places, brought together by the Hollywood Police Department's mentoring program.

"They pair you up with someone from one of the local schools and I got lucky enough to get Jasmine," Donahue said.

Jasmine would argue that she is in the lucky one.

"My favorite part of hanging out with her is we do fun things," Jasmine said.

Jasmine and Donahue were paired together a year ago and are now regulars at Marlins games and Panthers games.

They have gone kayaking, and almost every outing involves ice cream. But there is homework time too.

"Initially we would do homework and practice spelling words, but she is very smart and gets straight A's. Now we are working on her not being so shy," Donahue said.

Jasmine was paired with a mentor because she is one of eight children in a family where the parents work a lot to provide for them, so one-on-one time was hard to come by for her.

That's why Hollywood police created this program to reach out to the area families, who needed some extra help and giving officers the chance to give it.

About 30 officers take part in the program. Donahue said its part of what she loves doing most.

"I love the opportunity to reach people her age and not only be a role model and let her see that there is different sides to officers. We are not just robots in police uniforms," Donahue said.

The program is open to Hollywood residents.