|Carrie Sauer, NeighborWorks America|
intern, Northeast Region
This is exactly what the folks at Madison Park Community Development Corporation in Roxbury, Massachusetts are doing as a part of their newly established mentoring initiative, “the Circle for Success Initiative (CSI).” This effort connects 9th grade students with peer mentors who guide, advise, and assist with the various issues that accompany the transition to high school. Members of the resident services program at Madison Park collaborate with the parents to help students decide on a career or education path, and then develop a strategic plan towards that goal. This ensures that the participants understand their potential and are exposed to the career and educational prospects that will allow them to realize their potential.
|Madison Park Community Development Corp. summer youth staff|
According to studies by the Afterschool Alliance, the Urban Institute and the Public Health Agency of Canada, students who are involved are less likely to skip school and more likely to feel a sense of belonging in their school. These positive thoughts and behaviors translate to hefty gains in test scores and graduation rates. Furthermore, these impacts are more significant among disadvantaged students, confirming the need for community development agencies to incorporate youth programming into their mission.
|Mentor and mentee|
As students return to their studies, it is important to remember that school makes up but a fraction of a day. What happens in the afternoon can make all the difference to an individual’s development both as a student and as a young adult.
Learn more about other youth programs offered by Madison Park Community Development Corporation, including their summer mural project, by visiting their Facebook page or watching this video.