When it is all added up, mentor-mentee friendships formed over the 20-year history of the SpringBoard Mentoring Program have exponentially made an impact on the lives of thousands of students in Spring Branch ISD.
To celebrate the 20-year mark, the district is launching a campaign this school year to double the number of mentors in the program. The Power of Two campaign urges the current 250+ mentors to invite at least one friend, family member or colleague to become a mentor, thus multiplying the number of SpringBoard mentors twofold.
What do mentors do?
Once a week for about 30 to 45 minutes during lunch period, mentors arrive at campuses all across the district to share a little time with a student. During the session, they may play a game, do an art project, shoot basketballs, review report cards…but mostly just chat about life at school and home.
Discussions about friends, trends, celebrations, bumps in the road, post-secondary pathways and so much more occur during mentor visits. Most mentors stay with the same mentee as the student advances from grade to grade and school to school.
Why are these visits important?
- When a student realizes a caring adult is coming just to spend time just with him or her each week, their sense of worth and value grows. Often students in the program may not have adults in their lives who have time to slow down and focus on what the children have on their minds.
- Learning to have face-to-face conversations with adults is a skill students need to be successful in the world of work, especially in the age of texting and social media.
- Building confidence by talking through problems AND solutions is another benefit of having a mentor friend.
- Having a steady, non-judgmental, listening ear in their corner as a student moves between grades and various stages of maturity is very reassuring and uplifting.
“We have seen firsthand the impact a mentor/mentee relationship has on both the student and the adult,” said Christopher Marroquin, Community Engagement Facilitator. “I have heard many stories of mentors starting with their mentee in elementary school and continuing their relationship through graduation and beyond.”
How can I become a mentor?
To become a mentor, prospective volunteers complete three easy steps:
- Apply to become a volunteer/mentor here. This initiates a background check that all volunteers in Spring Branch ISD must complete and pass annually.
- Once you receive an email that your application has been approved, register for a one-hour mentor training here. The training sessions take place throughout the year at two locations in the district and at our business, non-profit and faith community partner locations.
- Once these two requirements are completed, the campus coordinator at the elementary, middle or high school of your choice will match you with a student mentee.
And so it begins: A meaningful friendship that both mentor and mentee will enjoy and look forward to growing each week, year by year. Like any new friendship, it may take some time to get over shyness and establish a routine. Eventually mentors and mentees know what to expect from each other and their lunch sessions become a highlight of each week for both of them.
We need you in the Power of Two equation
For more information about the SpringBoard Mentoring Program, visit our website, or complete this interest form and someone from the SpringBoard Mentoring Program team will contact you to answer any questions.
If your business or organization would like a SpringBoard Mentor Program representative to come to your site to provide information about mentoring and an on-site training, please contact Christopher.email@example.com.
Many more mentors are needed to connect with and befriend students on waiting lists. Don’t wait for an invitation! If you want to make a difference in the life of a student, become a SpringBoard Mentor! Along the way, your life will change, too.