Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties (BBBS) is partnering with iMentor to bring an innovative new program to the region. The Mentor2.0 program is designed to provide high school students with mentors who can help them develop the leadership, career, and social skills needed to graduate high school college ready. iMentor currently has successful partnerships with 15 other agencies within the BBBS network nation-wide.
“Mentor2.0 takes the core of BBBS programs, including the emphasis on one-to-one mentoring and the role of professional support, and builds upon them through technology-enriched curricula,” said Donna Bennett, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties president and CEO. “This model, created by iMentor, allows for more flexibility in mentor-mentee communication and reduces the in-person time commitment for volunteers to just once per month. It is perfect for individuals who want to have an impact on the community but find it difficult to do so with a busy schedule. Now, they will be able to mentor from home or the office.”
As part of the program, mentor and mentee matches get to know each other through an innovative combination of weekly messages via a secure web-based platform and monthly group events. A BBBS staff member works with each match through the platform to manage, monitor, and evaluate the program in order to ensure success.
The basic mentor requirements for the program include:
• Mentors must be at least 21 years of age and hold an associate degree or higher.
• Maintain a reliable internet connection.
• Commit to mentoring for at least one school year beginning September 2019.
• Commit to sending one weekly message on an interesting topic that Mentor2.0 provides through the platform.
• Commit to meeting your mentee once every four weeks for two hours at a Mentor2.0 facilitated event.
• Agree to only communicate and meet within the above framework, for curriculum focus and program fidelity.
“Applications of this model in other cities have demonstrated significant increases in on-time high school graduation, college acceptance, enrollment, and persistence rates,” Bennett continued. “For example, the data shows 97 percent of Mentor2.0 students completed college applications, and 88 percent expect to earn a college degree.”
“Additionally, students are more likely than their peers who are not in the program to enroll in college, 75 percent vs. 50 percent , and once in college are more likely to persist into their sophomore year 83 percent vs. 50 percent. The program can truly have a remarkable impact on students, changing their lives for the better, forever,” Bennett concluded.