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Mentor Programs

Create a Future. Make a difference. Become a mentor today!

Why We Need You!

Many 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.

Additionally, research shows that mentoring:

  • Improves youth’s attitudes toward school relationships with teachers
  • Increases feelings of school connectedness, educational aspirations, and the likelihood of going to college or further educational avenues
  • Lower school absences and decrease serious school problems e.g. fighting, bullying and school suspensions
  • Reduces the likelihood that teens will start to drink and use illegal drugs
  • Helps reduce feelings of isolation and depression in adolescents

The preponderance of research indicates that mentoring: Improves social support, social skills, and peer relationships (DuBois et al,2011). Produces better mental health outcomes and lower levels of aggression (Developmental Services Group, 2019). Reduces the use of alcohol and substance use (Roger, Lorenzetti, & Spragins, 2011; Tolan, Henry, Schoeny, & Bass, 2011). Results in lower levels of delinquency (Tolan et al, 2008). Greater likelihood of better educational outcomes, including school attendance, grades, and academic achievement scores (DuBois et al., 2011).

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What You Can Help Accomplish!

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 130% more likely to hold a leadership position in a club or sports team
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • 90% more likely to be interested in becoming mentors themselves

Adapted from Materials provided by MENTOR 2021

Mentor Program

The mission of the West Hartford Public School Mentoring Program is to allow students the opportunity to reach their potential by offering guidance, encouragement and support through partnership with caring adults.

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.

  1. Complete and submit a Mentor Program application. For your convenience, you can even apply online. References on your application will be contacted.
  2. Attend a required two-hour informational workshop to review general program guidelines.
  3. 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.
  4. Meet with the prospective host school’s site coordinator to review your application, discuss potential mentees and determine the best meeting schedule.
  5. Congratulations! You are ready to begin your mentoring journey

Peer Mentor Program

Building Tomorrow by Leading Today

Create a Future

The mission of the program is to allow students the opportunity to reach their potential by offering guidance, encouragement, and support through partnerships with experienced high school students.

Here is how the program works...

Our Mentor Program is school-based and begins in October, running concurrently with the district calendar. Each peer 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.

A peer mentor is a high school student who acts as a friend and role model to an elementary or middle school student by offering guidance, encouragement and support.

mentee is an elementary or middle school student who welcomes the friendship of an older student.

The benefits are endless for you. Here are just a few to consider…

  •  Develop leadership skills
  •  Gain first-hand experience working with younger children
  •  Improve communication skills
  •  Build more confidence
  •  Add the mentor experience to your resume
  •  Make a difference in a young person’s life

Become a Peer Mentor Today

Follow these easy steps and you’re on your way towards making a difference.

  1. Complete and submit a Peer Mentor Program application, which is also located in the Career Center.
  2. Attend a required two-hour informational workshop to review general program guidelines.
  3. Meet with the prospective host school’s site coordinator to review your application, discuss potential mentees and determine the best meeting schedule.
  4. Congratulations! You are ready to begin your peer mentoring journey!

For the Mentor Program and the Peer Mentor program, contact:

Carol Wilkas

Business & Finance Teacher, District Mentor Coordinator