• The Richland One Mentoring Initiative

      Mentoring has a long and proven history. According to the Child Trends Research Brief, mentoring is so popular and so effective that it should be considered a major strategy for youth development. Mentoring is so effective that it is one of the 15 strategies identified by the National Dropout Prevention Network/Center. Mentoring may occur in a variety of settings and structured mentoring programs provide mentors with the opportunity to offer mentees a variety of helpful experiences designed to improve their attitudes, behaviors and soft skills.

      The Richland One Mentoring Initiative is a district-based mentoring program designed to provide mentoring services to students enrolled in Richland One Schools. The program is structured to empower, inspire, and encourage students to achieve their full potential and dreams. The goals are:

      • To improve academic performance
      • To teach problem-solving techniques
      • To strengthen perceptions of self and school
      • To reduce disciplinary referrals and absenteeism
      • To build a resilient, competent, and confident youth


      Mentoring Models

      Structured Mentoring programs often have many forms and most of them have proven to be highly successful. The Mentoring Initiative will offer different mentoring models that schools can select. However, the core structure of the program, program forms, program operation, parent/guardian participation requirement and the mentor training, will adhere to the district format system-wide. There are two Mentoring Models:

      • Small Group Mentoring
        • One or several adults to a group of youth
        • Regular contact once a week for 45 – 90 minutes
        • Set time period – usually the school year and summer
        • School provides support, monitor and supervision
      • Cross-Age Peer Mentoring
        • One youth (High School Student) to another youth with adult leadership
        • Special interests, such as assisting with a school project or reading to student
        • Regular contact once a week for 45 – 90 minutes
        • School provides support, monitoring and supervision 

      The mentoring initiative will emphasize the importance of the Critical Skills needed for Success in life. Those skills are:

      • Communication – convey a clear and concise message
      • Professionalism – conducting self with responsibility, integrity, accountability and excellence
      • Problem-Solving – ability to develop well-thought-out solution in a reasonable time
      • Positive Attitude – ability to have an optimistic mindset and receive constructive criticism
      • Teamwork – building positive relationships and learning to work with others

      The overall goal of this program is to guide the young people to success in school, at home, in the community and to ultimately lead them to obtaining a High School Diploma. The program is also designed to prepare students for the workforce, post-secondary education, or military service.