The path to securing sustainable employment and a successful future begins when students are young; when organizations such as the Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) can work with the school district to develop productive habits of mind, body and heart.
Launched in 2010, and serving 94 students, the Stamford Mentoring Program is SPEF’s flagship offering. It was one of fifteen mentoring programs nationwide to be selected to participate it the Quality Mentoring Assessment Path (QMAP). Our Program was rated as a highly effective program, the top rating possible; SPEF’s Stamford Mentoring Program received an overall rating of 97% for program design and management, operations and evaluation.
The goal of the Stamford Mentoring Program is to close the achievement gap in Stamford Public Schools by providing mentoring services at critical transitional stages in youth development: Elementary to Middle School; Middle to High School; High School to College, Career Training or Full-Time Employment.
–Elementary School (grades 4-5): SPEF’s Service-Learning Program integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. It connects the traditional classroom experience with the real-life lessons that come through community service. Each 10-week program culminates with a community service project.
–Middle School (grades 6-8): SPEF’s traditional Middle School Mentoring Program provides students who need additional academic and/or social support with resources and guidance required to be successful. It partners college, community and corporate volunteers for weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions with students. The four primary objectives are: help students set goals, improve their academic standing, become engaged in positive after-school activities and prepare for college, career training, or full-time employment after high school graduation.
–High School (grades 9-12): SPEF’s High School Mentoring Program pairs in-need youth from Stamford Public Schools with caring and dedicated mentors. The pairs meet outside of school hours to engage in specific activities that are aligned with both of their interests. A SPEF Program Coordinator meets with each student to conduct an initial intake, identifying the youth’s needs and interests. The Coordinator then matches the student with an appropriate mentor, with a goal of building the youth’s confidence, self-esteem and workforce readiness.
In addition, SPEF provides mentor support through its Workplace Mentoring Program for Stamford High School’s Early College Studies (ECS) program. ECS allows students the opportunity to graduate high school and earn an associate degree in a technology-based field in 4-6 years. The program is focused on providing an in-depth technology-based education designed to prepare students to be successful in a variety of technical college and career fields. On a monthly basis, SPEF matches caring professionals from local corporations with students; these mentoring sessions take place at the corporations’ offices, exposing these inquisitive learners to various professions and work environments with the intent of inspiring a future pathway.