Who We Are
Success Mentors is a career readiness afterschool program designed specifically for students in grades 5-8. Our program goals respond to Ohio Department of Education’s Five Community Connectors core principles using best practices.
Success Mentors is designed to help middle school students:
- Learn to set goals and monitor progress that lead to success in education and employment.
- Develop positive character traits needed for success in education and employment.
- Solve problems and make decisions that lead to success in education and employment.
- Overcome barriers to success to in education and employment.
- Envision a positive future and take the necessary actions to experience a positive future.
Success Mentors operated between 2016 and 2019 at Pickett Elementary in Toledo Public Schools (TPS), serving grades 5 – 8. Relationships created through the program ensure a brighter, more productive future for students while positively impacting our mentors’ lives as well. The program features daily hands-on, inquiry rich content lessons with group mentors and weekly one-to-one contact between career professionals/community members and students that provides opportunities to develop close relationships to encourage success in school and the future. Mentoring includes both career related activities and meaningful conversations to develop students’ critical-thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
The program at Pickett Academy was funded by Ohio Department of Education’s Community Connectors Grant, Toledo Public Schools and First Energy of Ohio and well as in-kind gifts of service and materials from IBEW Local #8, University of Toledo Dept. of Geography and Planning, Keep Toledo Lucas County Beautiful, Padua Center, Bowling Green State University and many others. Thank you!
Success Mentors are corporate, nonprofit and faith-based partners, community members and volunteers at large, and students’ family members who dedicate their time to ensure a brighter, more productive future for Toledo’s youth.
- Community members may serve as small group mentors in the program. These mentors are models of success to increase the students’ beliefs in a positive future. Small group mentors can get involved in many ways -bringing in hands-on activities related to their career, making career-focused presentations, or joining with us in career-based STEM activities. The commitment could be once per school year, once per month or helping at parent engagement events.
- Family members as mentors reinforce that students are loved, valued and capable of having strong character.
- One to one mentors meet with students twice monthly for an hour after school. Childhood trauma is common. More than two thirds of children in the United States experience a traumatic event or circumstances—such as abuse or neglect, death of a loved one, or community violence—by the time they turn 16. Through this program’s special one-to-one mentoring feature, students feel they have partners in their school and career journey. This helps increase student’s resiliency, which in turn contributes to self-esteem and a sense of belonging to overcome obstacles often faced by children in trauma, such as irregular school attendance, mental health issues, troubling behaviors and even suicide. Mentors commit to long-term relationships with students to nurture trust and help guide students through different processes for problem-solving and decision making in a variety of areas in students’ lives.
How We Do It
Success Mentors’ design features a unique combination of three mentoring models to achieve the program’s goals: one-on-one mentoring; small group mentoring and large group mentoring. A significant emphasis is placed on one-on-one mentoring involving a community leader.
- Developmentally appropriate college & career curricula.
- Engaging hands-on STEAM-based activities and projects that develop the core principles of team building, communication and goal setting to be prepared for the 21st Century careers.
- Activities that build character and resiliency.
- Career mapping to lead students to a positive future.
Our outcomes are accomplished through a blend of problem-based learning activities, which expose students to hands-on experiences that people do in the real world from lighting a house to starting their own business. The lessons are combined with a meal, homework help, technology training, career pathway guest speakers, field trips to colleges and work sites, service learning, exposure to all types of post-secondary training options including apprenticeships and certificate programs, SMART goal setting, parent engagement events, and of course, mentoring.
To bring this program to your school or community center, please contact Mark Schrock, [email protected]. We can customize the timing of our afterschool program to your students’ and families’ needs for afterschool care and programming. Success Mentors is eligible for Title 1 funding and is aligned to Ohio Academic Content Standards for English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science.