Petaluma People Services Center (PPSC) Mentor Me program seeks to empower young people (k-12) to reach their highest potential by matching them with a mentor. Every child receiving mentoring in our program, of whom over 85% are economically disadvantaged, has at least one environmental factor that puts him or her at-risk of school failure, substance abuse, economic dependency, and/or incarceration. Trained adult mentors, committed to a two-year mentorship, spend at least an hour a week with their mentees in Mentor Centers located on our partner school campuses, at the Mentor Me Cavanagh Recreation Center or participating in enrichment activities (i.e. cultural, creative, physical, and educational).
Age Groups Served
- Elementary School
- Middle School
- High School
- Parent and Caregiver Engagement
Geographical Area Served
- City of Petaluma
- City of Rohnert Park
- City of Santa Rosa
- County Marin
- County Sonoma
- Academic Support
- After School Academic and Enrichment
- Mental Health Services
- Restorative Practices
- Student and Family well-being
PPSC Mentor Me values being in relationship with our young people. Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Our vision is that every young person has the consistent adult support needed to reach their highest potential and to thrive in school and in life. Utilizing our Mentoring for Success Model, we strive to make all children feel safe to connect with others and their community, feel empowered to grow into their highest potential and feel moved to contribute their talents to build a more positive world. As such, we also provide our young people with additional resources including group mentoring, tutoring and homework support, counseling referrals, enrichment activities, college and career counseling, food and clothing support, academic and legal intervention and advocacy.
Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Data from The National Mentoring Partnership showed that youth who were at risk of falling off track but had a mentor are: 55% more likely to enroll in college 78% more likely to volunteer regularly 90% are interested in becoming a mentor 130% more likely to hold leadership positions Expected outcomes for each mentored youth in our program include: Increased academic performance Improved perceptions of parental relationship Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use Decreased violent behavior Decreased gang involvement Graduation from high school and seamless transition into post-secondary education Mentor Me recognizes the importance of having a caring adult in the life of a child. Youth involved in formal, high quality relationships with adults attend school more regularly, have better attitudes and behaviors at school, and are more likely to pursue post- secondary education. Mentored youth are 46% less likely to initiate drug use; 27% less likely to initiate alcohol use; 52% less likely to skip school; and 32% less likely to hit someone than un-mentored youth (Tierney, Grossman, & Resch, 1995). We have identified that young people who lack consistent adult support and supervision are not thriving academically, emotionally, or socially. We ultimately expect to achieve the following outcomes for each mentored youth in our program: increased academic performance; improved school attendance; greater engagement in the classroom; decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use; decreased violent behavior; improved perceptions of parental relationship; decreased gang involvement; and graduation from high school and seamless transition into post- secondary education. To measure the success of our programs we look to the academic, emotional, and social aspects of life for our mentored youth in addition to the reach our program has been able to achieve. Academic Due to the consistent interaction with our young people through mentors, our presence in their respective school sites through our Site Coordinators and MOUs with school districts we can gather data regarding grade promotion, grades, attendance, discipline referrals, and graduation from high school. Emotional Upon entering our Mentor Me program, we collect baseline data from mentees and mentors through pre and post surveys. For example, our mentee survey includes items such as: I have friends; I look forward to going to school; I have adults I can count on; I do activities after school; I ask for help when I need it; I like to help others. The mentor survey includes items such as: does your mentee have friends; does your mentee like going to school; does your mentee have adults they can rely on; does your mentee participate in after school activities. Social Relationship Longevity: Through NonProfit Easy (NPE), we track our mentorships, including current number of mentors and mentees. We have found that even though we ask mentors to stay in their mentoring friendship for at least 2 years, 90% of our mentors and mentees continue for three or more years. We also provide opportunities for our mentors and mentees to engage in extracurricular activities. This past year were able to provide 67 art, education, music, athletic and other enrichment activities to 159 mentees. Our mentees were able to experience a range of activities, including a live theater performance of Cinderella at the Luther Burbank Theater for the Arts, the races at the Sonoma Raceway and a trip to a Harlem Globetrotters game. Reach Through NPE, we are also able to track the schools that utilize our supports as well as active mentorships. Currently we are in 19 schools through the city of Petaluma, including elementary, middle, and high schools as well as alternative high schools. We also currently support 250 active mentorships. We have plans to establish our first Mentor Me program in Cotati-Rohnert Park in fall 2020.
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