Welcome to Near-Peer Mentoring

Freshmen excel when they feel cared for!

Trained upperclassman caring for freshmen develops life skills and helps guide freshmen to do their best and become the people they were meant to be!

This program increases “counselors” through trained upperclassmen mentors!

Mentors are taught to invest, empathize and care for students in their small groups.

A Video Introduction to Mentors

What is mentorship?

Mentorship programs can come in a lot of different forms, and the type of help and support that they offer can be as varied as the schools themselves. That being said, most typically, mentorship programs consist of older students who are tasked with mentoring younger students.

There may be an academic component to this—for example, a form of tutoring—but more importantly, mentors are there to offer emotional and social support to the students under their care. Mentors become someone that their mentees can turn to when they are having issues with friends, or when they are struggling with classes, or when they are unsure about something in life. They are trusted advisors and friends who have themselves gone through similar situations, and whose only goal is to help you succeed in high school and beyond.

Freshman that choose to participate in the in The Journey to the Summit are paired with mentors at the beginning of the year. The mentors are selected from the incoming Junior and/or Senior class. Mentors participate in the class on a daily basis and guide them through the curriculum in a small group setting allowing them to build real, consistent, and lasting relationships with the students under their care. The early support offered by the mentorship program sets the stage for a successful high school experience, and is often especially helpful for many students who are new to the community.

Benefits of Having a Mentor in High School

There are many benefits of having a mentor in high school, which can have far reaching implications for students and their overall academic performance.

The most obvious and most frequently acknowledged benefits are found in the academic arena. Mentors, having already gone through the same  coursework as their mentees, are able to offer guidance and support that their mentees can use to develop stronger study habits. Because mentors have also typically had classes with the same teachers and instructors as their mentees, they can also help their mentees navigate those instructors’ unique personalities and teaching styles. With the assistance of mentors, it has been shown that students more consistently complete their assignments, and often with a higher quality of work than they might otherwise.

Additionally, students who begin their academic experience with a mentor tend to approach their education and educational goals differently compared to students without a mentor, and achieve at a higher level.

For instance, the presence of a mentor, especially in students who might be considered “high risk” or at an economic or cultural disadvantage, increases the likelihood that their mentees will set higher education goals and will enroll in and graduate from a postsecondary education. In short, mentors instill a better attitude about academics and a student’s academic future in their mentees than students without some form of mentoring.

In addition to academic benefits, peer mentorship provides students with the interpersonal skills and sense of community that are integral in developing a healthy sense of self and place in society.

Starting at any new school, especially high school, can be an intimidating process. With a mentor acting as a peer resource to both welcome mentees into their new student community and serve as emotional support, new students are able to develop healthy relationships with people  who are immediately dedicated to their well-being and success.

Additionally, with ready access to a mentor close to their age (near-peer mentoring), mentees are able to ask questions and seek advice they might not otherwise feel comfortable or confident asking of the adult teachers and counselors around them.

This in turn gives them the confidence to navigate the challenges of their new academic environments, and life outside school as well. In fact, students who have mentors are 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not and are less likely to utilize drugs and alcohol, and engage in otherwise destructive behaviors (including suicide) than their peers without mentors. In short, having the care and guidance of a mentor assures that students are making the healthiest decisions both inside and outside of the school environment.

Navigator Curriculum Prepares Students for Life!

Johnathon Tully, of the Naval Academy, served as a senior mentor during high school. Below he identifies similarities between the Navigator curriculum and what he learned his freshman year at the Naval Academy. 

Freshmen Excel when they feel cared for!

Trained upperclassmen (Student Mentors) caring for freshmen develops life skills and helps guide freshmen to do their best and become the people they were meant to be!

75% of freshmen surveyed said it would be helpful to have a mentor.

80% of the Upperclassmen Mentors said this one program had a positive impact on their school’s culture.

Benefits to the Mentors

Mentorship programs don’t just benefit the mentees however—there are incredible advantages and rewards to those who are acting as the mentors as well.

Acting as a fellow classmate’s champion, educational mentor, and tour guide through the complicated high school environment allows mentors a sense of both accomplishment and community. Through helping mentees hone their academic and social knowledge, mentors are able to further their own understanding of their courses, their peers, and understand the ways in which they can positively impact those around them.

Being a mentor is truly an exercise in community participation, and allows mentors to develop leadership and supervisory skills that will serve them throughout their academic, professional, and personal careers.

Why Train Upperclassmen to Lead Freshmen Through Mentoring?

Creating Community and Strengthening Culture

When freshman feel cared for by a Student Mentor, they will do their best!

“Because of this class, I grew a ton my senior year!”  – Evan

Comments by Student Mentors

Just a few of the many that were positively affected