That’s the idea that brought a group of thirty kids and teachers to the auditorium on a Thursday afternoon at Walt Whitman Middle School. It was part of the kick-off of the school’s MentorWorks program; a Fairfax County Public Schools initiative designed to connect young students with pathways to success.
The program, which debuted at Whitman late last school year as part of the Community School’s partnership with United Community and United Way of the National Capital Area, pairs each student with an adult mentor. Student and Mentor are then instructed to meet, one-on-one, at least once a week for 30 minutes through the end of the school year. Meetings can occur over lunch, after-school, or however the mentor and student decide is best for them.
“Take a moment and think about your own K-12 experience,” Assistant Principal Matthew Johnson began, addressing the crowd of teachers and students. “Who was that one person in your life who made a difference? At the end of the day, the mentors in this room, right now, can be that one person for these kids.”
Studies show that mentoring programs have a positive impact on academic achievement, as well as students social, behavioral, and mental well-being.
“Being a mentor is such a rewarding experience, ” Montecinos adds. “Students who form these one-on-one relationships with teachers – as friends --, grow and succeed in ways that they never might have accomplished on their own.”
If you would like to be involved in Walt Whitman Middle Schools MentorWorks program, please contact Delia Montecinos at firstname.lastname@example.org or 571-249-7069 .