Middle School

First in a three-part series.

When things heat up, they expand. And when that thing is the axle shaft to your drive train, you're going to have to make adjustments, or else.

Michael Guarraia kneels down next to a metal part that just popped off the rear axle. "OK guys, listen up," he tells his team. "The drive train broke again and we need to find a sustainable solution. This can't happen during the race."

The team members nod and furrow their brows. Some scratch their heads.

To keep Pittsburgh kids on track as yet another school year picks up speed, United Way’s middle school mentoring program has expanded to two more Pittsburgh Public Schools, Brookline and Colfax.

As part of the expansion the program is looking for more mentors to visit their mentees at 1 of the 14 participating schools at least once a week from October-May.

The largest mentoring program in Pittsburgh area is getting a little bit bigger.

The “Be a 6th Grade Mentor” program has become “Be a Middle School Mentor.”

Due to the program’s success in the last four years, the United Way of Allegheny County is expanding it to include children in grades six through eight.

Damon Bethea, mentoring projects director at the United Way, said the mentors asked for the program's expansion.