Students get lunch pals thanks to Raymond James

- It's lunch hour at Mount Vernon Elementary School in St. Petersburg and 11-year-old Davion Garcia-Ramos is catching up with his lunch pal, Ronald Diner.

"Sometimes we talk about what's going on in Davion's life or what's of interest to him," said Diner.

Diner works with Raymond James. Back in 2013, the company partnered with Pinellas County Schools to create Lunch Pals to help kids who may be disadvantaged or just needed a friend.

"I enjoy how we can talk about what's going on and what's happening," said Davion.

"Probably one of the most important contributions that any company and their staffs could make to help achieve the school's vision of 100 percent success, every kid reaching his full potential," said Diner.

"Just the importance of being with that child is the most important thing that we can ask for our Lunch Pal mentors", said school principal Robert Ovalle.

The number of Lunch Pals is growing.  

"We added over 60 organizations to the program and now a thousand children have a pal over lunch that didn't have one before," said Diner.

They are pals with a purpose.

"It's better to have a mentor to help you succeed in life," said Davion.

For more information on the Lunch Pals program http://www.raymondjames.com/about/social_responsibility/lunch-pals/

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