Establishing a School-Based Mentoring Program for Youth Essay

This article is about a high school counselor who realizes the struggles of students who are involved in the transition from the juvenile system into adulthood. The students range from having an emotional disorder to being incarcerated to getting out of a juvenile detention center to having a learning disability in a school setting. The couselor has decided that a school-based mentoring program will help ease students with transitioning back to their neighborhood schools.

She feels that this type of mentoring will improve students’ academic grades, communication and social skills, and will get students involved in their community. One of the main reasons she wants to start this program is students who return to school from a juvenile facility face multiple academic and behavioral challenges. Students may feel unprepared to join the work force due to poor academic skills. This could be a cause of missing many days of school. More often then not, students with disabilities are more likely to go right back to a juvenile facility. ( Waller, Katherine S. David E. Houchins, and Patsy Thomas Nomvete. ” Beyond Behavior 19. 3 (2010): 30-35) School staff cares about the students in their schools, and in their classrooms. Outside of the school community family plays a very important role in helping with transitioning. But unfortunately, a student’s home environment can just add to students emotions. A school mentor can use various avenues in the school setting such as the nurse, teachers, guidance counselors, and will have access to a students records. How can a teacher effectively teach a student who has so much baggage?

If a moderate disabled student comes to school not prepared to learn because of outside influences, how will she succeed? These are questions that teachers and staff need addressed. Many schools along with the school staff realize that having a mentor program helps with the many needs of students This author seemed to have a lot of knowledge of both beginning a school mentoring program and helping to keep moderate disabled kids succeeding. In one of the New Bedford High Schools there is an alternative setting which has many of the mentoring goals in place.

The teachers and staff do their best to assist in any inside and outside influences that a student might come upon. The staff also has acquired positive relationships with students. The author also talked about adult mentors. These mentors can provide youth with positive personal experiences. The school in New Bedford has an outside agency that volunteer at the students lunch time to sit and talk about issues that arise in and out of school. Students in this alternate setting seem very relaxed around these adults and talk freely with them.

This is very convenient; they do not have to be taken out of class to be mentored. The author also talked about how to begin a youth mentoring program in a school setting. She explained things from the beginning of a program to the goals, to matching students with mentors. The author also mentions how the program would save the school system monies. This article did not tell me anything that I have not seen in the school that I work at. I am not a certified teacher; however I do work in the behavior room and am currently working on my master’s degree.

At this school we are very involved in each student’s educational plan. We have over 60% of the schools population on IEP’s (Individual Education Plan), involved in drug court, or on a 45 day plan working their way back to their neighborhood schools. On occasion I meet with kids who are having difficulty throughout their day and try to settle them down so when they go home they do not take the school frustration with them. I see on a daily basis that all the students in this particular school setting have many issues to deal with be it internal or external factors.

Many people often ask where I work and when I tell them they seem aghast. I reply, “I would not want to work anywhere else. Here you can make a difference”. I personally feel that the staffs here are mentors, also that the staffs here wear many different hats to help All students succeed.

Works Cited:

Waller, Katherine S. , David E. Houchins, and Patsy Thomas Nomvete. “Establishing A School-Based Mentoring Program For Youth Who Are Transitioning From A Secure Facility. ” Beyond Behavior 19. 3 (2010): 30-35. ERIC. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.