Mentoring Tomorrow's Leaders Overview

Dropout Prevention and Student Leadership

The Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders (MTL) program is a dropout prevention, student leadership, and educational re-engagement program that utilizes a peer mentoring program model to increase the graduation and college going rates at MTL Schools. The Educational Re-Engagement component of MTL provides supports and services to students who left high school before earning a high school diploma.

Student Leadership

High-achieving high school sophomores (3.0 grade point average or higher) are presented with the opportunity to become student mentors. These students join MTL as Mentors-in-Training (MITS). After completing a yearlong mentor and leadership training series, MITS are inducted into MTL as Junior Mentors and matched with ninth graders (mentees) who are not on track to graduate from high school on time (grade point average below 2.0). MTL program staff and volunteers facilitate a two-year relationship between mentors and mentees during which mentees benefit from the positive influence, guidance, homework assistance, and support of their mentors.

Study Hall

During these two years, mentees attend study hall twice per week. Each study hall class consists of 20-25 students, one Academic Coach (adult volunteer) and student mentors. Together they create a quiet, supportive, welcoming, and structured environment where students can complete their homework, study, check their grades, and work together to resolve conflicts that are hindering their academic progress.

 Academic Coaches (AC’s) remain in regular contact with parents, communicating concerns and success. AC’s also advocate for students and families as the need arises. Throughout this process, ninth grade mentees become tenth grade mentees and Junior Mentors become Senior Mentors. The overall goal is that by the end of their tenth grade year, mentees will have improved their grades enough and qualify to become MITS and then mentors.

 College and Career Exploration Series & Mentee Skills Modules

Local professionals also participate in a College and Career Exploration Series, which is incorporated into study hall one every other month. During College and Career Exploration workshops, community role models facilitate interactive workshops about their careers and the training that is required of them to enter and succeed in their profession. Professionals from a variety of careers are recruited to participate in this series. During study hall, Mentee Skills Modules are also delivered once every other month. During these modules, professional speakers, youth workers, and advocates engage with mentees and assist them with building social and emotional skills for success. Topics for Mentee Skills Modules include conflict resolution, critical thinking and decision-making, personal image, relationships, and more.

Incentives, Community Service Hours and College Application Assistance Mentors receive community service hours for their work, and they also learn to become leaders. MTL program participants receive personalized guidance through the college, financial aid, and scholarship application processes. Mentors and mentees are also awarded incentives for academic improvement. Incentives include monthly gifts and recognition, as well as an all-expenses covered Tri-State Spring Break College Tour. The MTL uniform is also an incentive and a source of pride.