Mentor 4 Year Guideline

The Freshman Year

The key this year is to establish a positive relationship with your student and get to know one another.  Show that you are a trusted, reliable person and who provides support, encouragement and advice. Share your own school, professional and personal experiences, achievements and challenges, and encourage your mentee to share his/her goals, aspirations, concerns, etc.

Topics for discussion

Early on, establish explicit expectations about communicating

  • Confirm one another’s contact information
  • What is the best way to communicate? E-mail, text, phone calls, in-person get-togethers, etc.
  • How frequently will you communicate? g, text or email weekly, get together monthly, etc.
  • Commit that you will always respond to one another’s communications promptly
  • Share one another’s skills and interests of which you are proud and those that you would like to improve or develop.
  • Help set measurable, realistic goals for oneself
  • When report cards are sent out
    • Praise any strong performance—grades, attendance, etc.
    • Encourage seeking extra help where grades are weak
  • Holidays—reach out to your student on holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Veteran’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day, birthday to wish them and their family a happy one.

Getting together:

  • September/October—S/PA staff will arrange the first meeting between you and your student (mentee), usually early in the fall at the student’s school. During the first meeting you can introduce yourself and tell the student you are looking forward to getting to know one another throughout the four years of high school.
  • S/PA activities – Please communicate with your student in advance so that you know whether to see one another at the events (except the first one).
  • “Get to know you” breakfast or lunch is held early in the fall. You will have a chance to sit and talk with your student.  This is usually the first time mentors and students meet.
  • Community service and enrichment events – we usually have one in fall and one in the spring. All S/PA students are expected to attend and it is a great opportunity to spend time doing something fulfilling together.  Past activities have included the FoodBank of New Jersey, All Stars Project of New Jersey and the Greater Newark Conservancy
  • January – All students, mentors, and families are welcome to attend the S/PA Winter Holiday party.
  • Extracurricular activities—If your student welcomes you, attend sport events, plays, and other special events

Suggested Activities

  • In a journal or notebook, record 3 things you like about yourself and 3 things you would like to change/improve. State how you are going to attempt to change or improve at least one of those characteristics.
  • In a journal or notebook, each record 3 academic and 3 personal goals for the year. Make sure to date your entry. Revisit these goals in the spring.
  • Multiple Intelligence Test (Appendix)
  • Write a “plan of action” when academic support is needed.
  • Brainstorm a summer plan.

Resources

Sophomore Year

Now that you have known one another for a year, it is time to focus more strongly on academic excellence, work habits and other pursuits they are interested in (sports, the arts…). It is important to instill the idea that every grade counts towards the end goal of college. Hold your mentee accountable to academic and personal goals.

Topics for discussion

  • Encourage successful work habits and time management
  • Begin conversations about college, i.e. the importance, benefits, options, etc.
  • Register for PSAT when offered by the school
  • Encourage participation in a new extra-curricular activity or exploring an interest in more depth, which is important for college applications
  • Summer employment or activities
    • Resources to find opportunities
    • Interview Skills
    • How to fill out an application and interview for a job
    • Keep in touch over the summer to see how things are going.
  • When report cards are sent out
    • Praise any strong performance—grades, attendance, etc.
    • Encourage seeking extra help where grades are weak

Getting together:

  • S/PA activities – Please communicate with your student in advance so that you know whether to see one another at the events.
  • “Get to know you” breakfast or lunch is held early in the fall. You will have a chance to sit and talk with your student.
  • Community service and enrichment events – we usually have one in fall and one in the spring. All S/PA students are expected to attend and it is a great opportunity to spend time doing something fulfilling together.  Past activities have included the FoodBank of New Jersey, All Stars Program of New Jersey,
  • January – All students, mentors, and families are welcome to attend the S/PA Winter Holiday party.
  • Extracurricular activities—If your student welcomes you, attend sport events, plays, and special events.

Suggested Activities

  • Outline a typical day for both of you
  • Make a list of potential extra-curricular activities and choose one to pursue
  • Fill out a sample job application
  • Make a list of possible summer jobs

Resources

http://www.petersons.com/college-search/test-prep.aspx

Junior Year

This year’s focus should be sustaining high academic performance supplemented with some extra-curricular activities.  In addition, there should be a concentrated effort to seek out employment for the summer.

Topics for discussion

  • Encourage your student to strive for academic success. Remind her that junior year is the big chance to shine.
  • Prospective colleges. Start making a list based on features that are important to the student.  Live at home or at college?  Distance from home?  City vs. rural?  State school vs. private?  Possible majors?
  • Start to make a list of financial aid opportunities
  • Register and prepare for SAT, SAT II subject tests, ACT. Investigate test prep courses near school and home and study materials.
  • What are options for summer employment/internship
  • Summer employment or activities
    • Resources to find opportunities
    • Interview Skills
    • How to fill out an application and interview for a job
    • Keep in touch over the summer to see how things are going.
  • When report cards are sent out
    • Praise any strong performance—grades, attendance, etc.
    • Encourage seeking extra help where grades are weak

Suggested Activities

  • Surf college websites together
  • Make a timeline of deadlines for testing and college applications
  • Make a list of what is needed to apply to college: essays, letters of recommendation, test scores
  • Write a resume and cover letter
  • Fill out a mock job application
  • Conduct a mock interview
  • Career inventory/make a list of appealing careers

Getting together:

  • S/PA activities – Please communicate with your student in advance so that you know whether to see one another at the events.
  • “Get to know you” breakfast or lunch is held early in the fall. You will have a chance to sit and talk with your student.
  • Community service and enrichment events – we usually have one in fall and one in the spring. All S/PA students are expected to attend and it is a great opportunity to spend time doing something fulfilling together.  Past activities have included the FoodBank of New Jersey, All Stars Program of New Jersey, the Greater Newark Conservancy
  • January – All students, mentors, and families are welcome to attend the S/PA Winter Holiday party.
  • Extracurricular activities—If your student welcomes you, attend sport events, plays, and special events.

Resources

http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/pdf/cruiser.pdf

Senior Year

This year you help launch your student into the world.  The first part will be very stressful, but after college selection and financial aide are finalized, the end of year celebrations will be fun and exciting.

Topics for discussion

  • Encourage your student—empathize that it is very stressful, but he can do it!
  • Make a plan for the future that includes personal goals, finances, academic interests
  • Help make a list of colleges that includes safety, target and reach schools
  • Ensure that your student has made a timeline that includes application requirements and deadlines for each school, standardized tests, teacher and personal recommendations, financial aid requirements, etc.
  • Encourage using test prep courses and study materials to raise grades for standardized tests– SAT, SAT II subject tests, ACT
  • Ensure that your student is seeking opportunities for financial aid and completed FAFSA application.
  • Summer employment or activities
    • Work with student to identify and apply
    • Keep in touch over the summer to see how things are going.
  • When report cards are sent out
    • Praise any strong performance—grades, attendance, etc.
    • Encourage seeking extra help where grades are weak

Suggested Activities

  • Work together on timeline of deadlines
  • Create and organize a binder of necessary materials for college requirements.
  • Visit a local college campus or college fair and spend some time together visiting college websites.
  • Assist with applications and financial aid forms.
  • Help with essays, such as editing, recommending enhancements, etc. Be sure not to take over the process—the essay must be written by the student and reflect her ideas and voice.
  • Communicate regularly prior to each deadline to ensure that the mentee is on task.

Getting together:

  • S/PA activities – Please communicate with your student in advance so that you know whether to see one another at the events.
  • “Get to know you” breakfast or lunch is held early in the fall. You will have a chance to sit and talk with your student.
  • Community service and enrichment events – we usually have one in fall and one in the spring. All S/PA students are expected to attend and it is a great opportunity to spend time doing something fulfilling together.  Past activities have included the FoodBank of New Jersey, All Stars Program of New Jersey, Greater Newark Conservancy
  • January – All students, mentors, and families are welcome to attend the S/PA Winter Holiday party.
  • Extracurricular activities—If your student welcomes you, attend sport events, plays, and special events.
  • Senior year special activities—your student may invite you to attend graduation, National Honor Society induction ceremony, pre-prom event or other special senior events.

Resources