Imagine if every student had his or her own guidance counselor throughout their high school years. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh is taking steps toward that goal by currently recruiting 120 professionals for its innovative one-on-one mentoring program, mentor2.0.
Launching in September of 2014, the program matches college-educated mentors with ninth grade students from Brashear High School, a classified Title I school. Each month the pairs will meet in-person at the school for prescheduled events.
And each week, as part of the students’ Civics curriculum, the pairs will meet online – over a secure and professionally-monitored interactive platform.
“The intentional focus is on mastering non-cognitive skills like perseverance and love of learning. The students will also learn to navigate all aspects of pursuing post-graduate training whether it be a 4-year college or a vocational school,” said Jan Glick, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh.
mentor2.0 is based on an existing program, iMentor, that has had proven success across 19 Title I schools in New York City. iMentor is providing the technological support and platform for mentor 2.0.
“The program fits well into our district’s vision that every student have access to an adult to help them with issues academically and non-academically. The mentors will also help ensure the students are ‘Pittsburgh Promise-ready,’ maintaining at least a 2.5 gpa with at least 90 percent attendance,” said James Doyle, coordinator of afterschool programs for the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
mentor2.0 is being funded through significant grants from the Kresge Foundation, Heinz Endowments and the Birmingham Foundation.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh provides children facing adversity professionally supported one-to-one relations that change their lives for the better, forever. The agency’s evidence-based programs empower these children to achieve educational success, avoid risky behaviors, set higher aspirations and develop greater confidence. BBBS of Greater Pittsburgh serves about 1,200 children annually in Allegheny, Green and Washington counties and has earned national recognition for program quality and organizational excellence.