Big Brothers Big Sisters, indicates students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class, according to a recent study of the national recognized mentoring program.
Additional research has shown that mentoring has significant positive effects on one of two early indicators of high school dropouts: regular or recurring behavior problems (Thurlow, Sinclair & Johnson, 2002). The mentor aids in providing “extra-parental” support for students which builds self-esteem and reduces dropout risk factors by providing positive guidance in academic and social areas.
The Business, Engineering, Science, and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Academy at Benjamin S. Carson an all male public school within the Atlanta Public School System. Its mission is to develop globally competitive leaders by providing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum utilizing gender based strategies in a safe and nurturing learning environment.
BEST, for the 2013-2014 school year, will enroll approximately 125 new sixth graders. Researchers at Harvard University found that student achievement drops acutely as they transition from elementary to middle school. One World Link, Incorporated has developed a unique intervention initiative that provides an additional layer of support to mitigate the negative outcomes of the transition. OWL will use the knowledge gained from the successful pilot at BEST to administer the mentorAtlanta initiative.
mentorAtlanta will connect professionals from Atlanta’s robust business community to act as mentors to BEST’s sixth grade class. Mentors will provide one hour a week of guidance, encouragement and support as they build authentic relationships with the students during the school year. Regular mentor/ mentee guidance sessions will occur every Friday morning. At the beginning of the school year, each student will complete a written statement of goals (also known as the My Action Plan (MAP)) they wish to achieve during the school year. The MAP is an ever evolving document and contains goal areas: Social, Vocational, Educational, Physical, and Emotional.
Parents, mentors, and teachers will evaluate each student MAP to establish the proper guidance and support plan tailored to each student’s needs and goals. Mentors and students will refer to the MAP regularly for shared accountability and an opportunity to reflect upon recent and past accomplishments. Additional enrichment and social activities are also scheduled throughout the year such as local college/university tours and outings to professional sporting events.
"Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. "