Sharing Life’s Experiences
Our program began as a pilot project in 2001 with two mentors placed in two schools. It has since evolved into a district-wide program serving students in kindergarten through grade 12. Understanding the importance of our program, the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce joined our efforts early on as a partner from the business community to promote student success.
Not all students are provided the support they need to thrive and grow as productive citizens. Our approach is to bring about change in our students over a period of time, developing their self-esteem and building on their strengths. Every child has the potential to succeed in life and make a positive contribution to society. Mentoring has proved to be a powerful tool in helping young people fulfill their potential. Our Mentor Program is school-based and begins in October, running concurrently with the district calendar. Each mentor meets with their mentee on school grounds. The sessions are flexible, taking place during the school day (including before and after school program hours), and are approximately one hour in length.
Every student and volunteer can benefit from being involved in a mentor program such as the one offered through West Hartford Public Schools. The success of mentoring is dependent on the support of community and business members volunteering their time to make a difference. Your participation can help change our community, one hour at a time.
Mentoring…It’s an investment in our future
Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring adults who share knowledge, experience and wisdom as well as offer guidance, support and encouragement. A mentor is a positive adult role model and a trusted friend who takes the time to establish a lasting connection. You share about yourself, your experiences and your perspective on life. You are a good listener and offer unbiased feedback. You care and believe in your mentee. A mentee is a child who is receptive to being guided by a mentor and is willing to take advantage of the opportunities mentoring can offer to him/her along the pathway to success.
The Benefits are Endless…
- Improving young people’s interactions towards family members, teachers and peers
- Encouraging students to stay motivated and focused on their education
- Decreasing school absences while improving academic performance and achievement
- Developing and improving self-confidence
- Increasing communication skills, work ethic and responsibility
- Gaining a sense of personal satisfaction in giving back to your community
- Most of all, making a difference in a young person’s life
How to Become Part of the Mentoring Team
Follow these easy steps and you’re on your way towards making a difference.
- Complete and submit a Mentor Program application. For your convenience, you can even apply online. References on your application will be contacted.
- Attend a required two-hour informational workshop to review general program guidelines.
- Contact our Residency Office at 860-561-6620 to set-up an appointment for fingerprinting and a background check. West Hartford Public Schools pays for the cost of this service. There is no charge to prospective mentors.
- Meet with the prospective host school’s site coordinator to review your application, discuss potential mentees and determine the best meeting schedule.
- Congratulations! You are ready to begin your mentoring journey
Why We Need You!
Facts: (A Children’s Stock Portfolio: prepared by the CT Commission on Children, April 2007)
- 25% of Connecticut youth face challenges that place them at risk for poverty, health, family or other serious problems.
- There is a critical shortage of mentors, especially male and minority mentors.
- Youth who have few resources, such as lack of family support, living in poverty and low motivation level benefit most from mentoring.
What You Can Help Accomplish!
Mentoring improves attitudes and caring for others:
- 68% feel more confident in themselves
- 74% think it’s important to help others
- 71% have higher expectations of themselves
- 68% feel that there are adults that care about them
Mentoring improves conditions leading to academic success:
- More than 50% reported a better attitude toward school, earning better grades and exhibiting overall better behavior in school
- 79% reported trying hard to earn their teachers’ trust and have a good relationship
Mentoring prevents the start of risk-taking behavior by young people:
- 27% less likely to try illegal drugs
- 46% less likely to try illegal drugs
- 51% less likely to skip a day of school
- 33% less likely to start a fight with a classmate
Create a Future. Make a Difference. Become a Mentor Today!
For more information on mentoring or to become a mentor, please contact:
School / Community / Business Partnership Coordinator
110 Beechwood Road
West Hartford, CT 06107
West Hartford Chamber of Commerce
948 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06107