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'Mentor Monday' expands to month-long campaign at WKYC Studios

A special thank you goes to McDonald Hopkins for sponsoring this annual initiative, which is aimed at helping local college-bound students succeed.

CLEVELAND — “Mentor Monday,” presented by WKYC Studios and College Now Greater Cleveland, is returning for its fourth year. 

This year, the volunteer recruitment campaign is expanding to a month-long outreach initiative every Monday in March. 

Last year, more than 100 volunteers signed up the week of Mentor Monday. This year’s goal: Recruit 275 mentors by the end of the month. College Now is seeking mentors to be paired with local students who are heading to college in fall 2022. Currently, the organization has 1,035 students who are first-generation college students.

“Our students graduate at a rate nearly 30 percentage points higher than the national average for their peer group,” said Madeline Rife, senior director of the College Now Mentoring Program, in an e-mail. “But we need more college graduates to volunteer every year, to work with new, incoming students."

College Now also recruits volunteers for young people enrolled in the Say Yes Cleveland initiative, which provides qualifying Cleveland students with scholarships and critical resources for college.

In our Mentor Monday stories, you will hear from Leean Andino, the first Say Yes Cleveland scholarship student to graduate from Cleveland State University.

“My parents never went to college so I was able to have somebody there with me every step of the way to help guide me, and give me advice and just helping make the best decisions possible in this new transition in my life in college,” said Andino during an It’s About You interview.

During Mentor Monday, viewers will also learn about the recent partnership between College Now and the Young Latino Network. The purpose of this collaboration is to recruit a diverse pool of volunteer mentors that College Now can match to students with similar backgrounds.

“As we are seeing the share of Latinx students grow - we are focusing in on really finding folks from the community who are from the neighborhoods students are from - who have walked the same paths - who have the same backgrounds and the same experiences to share,” said Rife.

The requirements to become a College Now mentor are simple:

  • Commit to working with a student through the course of college by exchanging messages twice per month and meeting at least three times a year.
  • Hold a college degree
  • Fill out an application
  • Complete a 20-minute phone interview
  • Attend a 90-minute orientation
  • Pass a background check

To apply to become a mentor click here. The deadline is April 1. Be sure to watch our Mentor Monday coverage on 3News all month long to learn more about the College Now mentorship program.

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