CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video aired on January 27, 2020
Do you have a college degree? Consider making an impact in a local student’s life, by signing up to be a mentor.
That’s the challenge College Now of Greater Cleveland is issuing to Northeast Ohio professionals as it seeks 850 mentors to help local high school students navigate their way through college.
And WKYC Studios is stepping in to help with the effort. On Monday, March 8, WKYC Studios will present “Mentor Monday,” an all-day recruiting campaign. WKYC’s newscasts will spotlight the College Now of Greater Cleveland mentoring program and offer viewers the chance to sign up to become a mentor. The goal: Recruit 100 mentors on Mentor Monday.
College Now is an organization that helps people of all ages access scholarships and colleges. Its mentoring program has been proven to boost the retention and graduation rates of its scholarship recipients.
And since the Say Yes Cleveland initiative was launched in 2019 to provide eligible Cleveland students with scholarships and important resources for college success, College Now has been responsible for finding mentors for these Say Yes students too.
About two-thirds of Say Yes Cleveland students are first-generation college students. In order for Say Yes students to keep their scholarships, they must meet with their mentors throughout their higher education experience.
Mentor Monday began in 2019 and since then it has helped College Now meet its recruitment goals each year. In fact, Mentor Monday has helped recruit more than 500 mentors in the last two years.
“Mentor Monday is crucial to raising awareness about Say Yes and the Mentoring Program. The Cleveland community has made an amazing commitment to invest in education through the Say Yes scholarship and wrap-around services model. The program won’t be worthwhile to students – or to the community – if students aren’t able to successfully complete college,” says Madeline Rife, director of College Now’s mentoring program. "That’s why mentoring is so important. Our students graduate at a rate 20 percentage points higher than the national average for their peer group.”
Volunteers interested in becoming a mentor must have a college degree, fill out an application, complete a short phone interview and pass a background check. A brief orientation will also be provided. Mentors are expected to communicate with his or her mentee twice per month via email and meet with the mentee three times per year.
WKYC anchor Russ Mitchell has been a College Now mentor for two years, to Colorado College student Mario Wilson.
“Being a mentor has been an amazing experience. Sharing advice and fellowship with someone who is making their own break for the future is rewarding, fun and educational…for the mentee and the mentor! I can’t recommend the College Now Greater Cleveland mentor program enough,” says Russ Mitchell.
Mentor Monday would not be made possible without our sponsor, McDonald Hopkins LLC.
To sign up to become a mentor click here. The deadline is April 1. And, watch Mentor Monday on WKYC Studios on March 8 and learn more about the mentoring process.
Editor's Note: The below video aired on January 28, 2020