The Importance of Mentorship
A study in the School Community Journal revealed that “compared to control students, [school-based mentorship program] participants had significantly fewer unexcused absences and discipline referrals and reported significantly higher scores on four measures of connectedness . First year participants also reported significantly higher scores on one measure of connectedness [...] experts have broadly defined connectedness as 'acts of giving back to, being involved with, and investing oneself in an affective manner in places and activities as well as in relationships with other people.'" A report for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership found that "young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors." The research is clear that mentors can play a pivotal role in helping students set and meet higher expectations for themselves. For a student in high school, that role that a mentor plays can mean all the difference.
Making the Alumni Association Mentorship Program
We believe that in order to drive the impact we want, we need to first listen to the people we want to impact.
In May 2018, we surveyed 65 Cardozo students in grades 10 through 12 to determine whether the student body at Cardozo would benefit from and have interest in a potential mentorship program. The results demonstrated an overwhelming eagerness for the creation of such a program.
Students indicated that such a program would help "guide [us] through the college application process" and that mentors could be of immense help by "sharing their own experiences" with this process. Another student noted that a mentorship program could provide students with someone who is "knowledgeable, patient, and willing to help and guide students through a difficult and stressful process."
A number of students welcomed the help and encouragement that a mentor could offer with regards to the financial aid process and when it comes to developing a a strong college application. This was particularly important for those who noted that they would be first-generation college students. The importance of mentors in educating students on different careers was also a common theme, with one student noting that mentors "can address the specific career path students want to follow and explain further what the job is really like and what it takes to get there."
Lastly, many survey participants are looking for someone who can coach and support them with essential life skills like "public speaking," "budgeting," "managing your time," "email etiquette," and "resume building and interview skills."
It is with this feedback that we created our Mentorship Program. Join us in making a difference to the Cardozo community.