What is it?
Toward the Goal Mentoring is a mentoring initiative that empowers students by matching them with a trained and trusted adult mentor from the community. The purpose of this mentoring opportunity is to offer added support, encouragement, and fun to the student over the course of the school year through one-on-one relational mentoring. At the end of the year, the relationship is evaluated by mentor, mentee and their parent/guardian with the option to continue meeting. Ideally, the goal is for the mentor to walk alongside that specific student for the remainder of his/her school career.
No matter who or how old we are, research has shown that there are positive and powerful benefits personally, academically, and professionally in having at least one positive adult role model walk alongside of us who can offer support and quality time, a listening ear and a voice of encouragement. Where parents’/guardians’ voices can become “familiar” or perhaps even non-existent, a mentor serves as another positive influence in a student’s life. A Harvard study summarized, “Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult.”
In the past, we have seen benefits of various kinds in students from increased academic effort and grade improvement as high as two letter grades to a decrease in school absences. We have seen students attempting to navigate heavy life situations experience stability, support and help in discerning direction. School staff have witnessed increased confidence levels in students as well as improvement in positive emotion. Whatever the benefit, our aim is to invest in people because we believe in their value and potential.
How do we go about it?
Students can request a mentor or may be identified through administrators, school counselors and/or teachers. Through a mentoring coordinator, they will then be matched with a mentor from the community. Proper documents are signed by parents/guardians and an initial meeting between the mentoring coordinator, mentor, mentee and parent/guardian follows. If your child would like to have a mentor, or if you would like more information, please contact Maryssa Boyd, Coordinator of Student Development at Toward the Goal Mentoring.