GMS Mentoring 

Mentoring: A Partnership

      The North East Independent School District formed partnerships with businesses and organizations in San Antonio three years ago to address the needs of students considered at risk. One on one contact with the students offered the best option for results, and thus the mentorship program was formed.

What is a mentor?

The qualifications and expectations of mentors are basic. 
bullet Mentors are:  caring individuals who have good listening skills. Mentors know that listening is one of the greatest acts of caring. They provide encouragement.
bullet Mentors are:  reliable and dependable. Mentors commit to spending one hour with their student each week on the school campus. They demonstrate their commitment by being on time for scheduled visits.

What support does a mentor receive?

     Mentoring a child may require minimum time commitment, but the impact can be significant. Mentors are provided with support to assist them in being effective and comfortable in their role.
bullet Mentors:  receive training. School staff provide mentors with basic training and guidelines to help them become effective mentors.
bullet Mentors: are matched with a child who is felt to be compatible with their- interests and personality. Interviews with potential mentors and knowledge of the students enable staff to successfully match students and mentors.
bullet Mentors:  are involved in student activities and tasks with which the experience is comfortable. Some mentors may tutor or read to a student. Others may share lunch with a child. School staff work with mentors to ensure the experience is comfortable for the mentor and child.
bullet Mentors:  are provided with ongoing support. If the mentor has concerns or questions, school staff are available for consultation and support.

Does mentoring make a difference?

     Ernie McReynolds, a NEISD middle school counselor, knows that mentoring makes a difference. According to Ernie, "When we started the mentor program, the first thing that jumped out was that the attendance of students with mentors improved. As the relationship with the mentor developed, grades also improved and certainly the greatest impact was an increase in self-esteem."

     The greatest benefits are described by the students with mentors. One middle school student stated, "Paul doesn't get paid to be my mentor. He is busy, but he finds time for me. He makes me feel like I am somebody. Paul motivates me. When I do well, I like the look on his face. Doing well is one way I can let him know that I appreciate him. Doing well is the way I can pay him back for being any mentor."

How can a business or individual become involved?

     North East Independent School District is actively recruiting businesses to sponsor a mentor program through employee volunteers. Anyone interested in the Mentor program should contact:

Partners in Education
8961 Tesoro Drive, Suite 402
San Antonio, TX 78217
ph: (210) 407-0309
fax: (210) 804-7158

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