A Solution

During his years at the community center, Newell observed two problems: youth who desperately needed positive male role models and men in their early to mid twenties who made it through high school but did not have the financial means and support to get to college.  M.U.S.T. aims to solve both of these problems.  High risk youth receive quality mentorship and responsible people who want to get their higher education are paid for their mentoring time.

rick-and-shyCareful studies have shown that quality mentored young people have fewer absences from school, better attitudes toward school, fewer incidents of hitting others, reductions in substance abuse and other high-risk behavior, better relations with peers, and more positive attitudes about helping others. Quality mentoring works!  M.U.S.T. pairs one mentor with two to five mentees for consistent, quality mentoring.  Additionally, a college-aged mentor comes along for group gatherings.

Research has revealed the best practices for a successful mentoring program: 1) recruit appropriate mentors and mentees, 2) adequately screen mentors, 3) train mentors well, 4) match mentor and mentees well, 5) monitor the relationship and provide support for both mentor and mentee, and 6) bring the mentoring relationship to a close in a way that affirms both mentor and mentee.  M.U.S.T is committed to follow these practices and to continue to learn what it means to build an effective mentoring program.

Mentees who are eligible for the Mentoring Program fall into five proven categories which make them a high risk to drop out of high school.  After they are selected, they are paired with a trained mentor who, already knows them and who follows them through their secondary education until they graduate from high school.  The length of the mentorship builds trust and develops a mentor who is familiar with the unique issues that each mentee faces.

M.U.S.T. Mentoring Program

 

The mentor has breakfast with each mentee once per week during the school year.  They discuss the current week and go through our four year curriculum. They cover things like ‘Eight Things that Make a Man’ (A man owns his mistakes, A man keeps his word… etc) and ‘The Sinister Six’ (Six things that tend to pull kids down).

 

Along the way, the Mentor will keep the Mentee’s family and community involved as much as possible.  At the end of high school, Mentees will be better prepared to enter college and have the skills required for success.

Group outings every other week during the school year and every week during the summer are designed to build trusting relationships through fun activities.  A college aged mentor comes along for the group gatherings to add to the fun and to give mentees a vision of the possibilities found in higher education.  Mentees develop their social skills as they interact with other young men in the group and with Mentors while engaging in a variety of fun and often challenging activities.  The group times also foster an atmosphere where the Mentee knows that they are not alone in trying to raise their grades and get to college.  Through fun activities and one-on-one conversation, Mentors develop a rapport and earn trust and confidence to build a foundation to speak into each other’s lives.

rick-and-toreeAdditionally, M.U.S.T. aims to send each of the Mentees to a ten day academic and life skills camp called SuperCamp, ideally before the high school years.  Located at different prestigious universities across the country, the SuperCamp program teaches Mentees how their brain functions, best practices for studying, and helps each young person identify and overcome their own personal hurdles in order to succeed in school.  SuperCamp has proven to increase grades (73%), increase SAT scores by an average of 100 points, help in peer and family relationships, and 77% of graduates have gone directly to a four year college right after high school. The national average is 46%.  If a student needs tutoring in certain subjects M.U.S.T. can provide that as well.

After the first two years, it can be seen that The Mentoring Program is working.  Youth are not returning to deviant behavior, grades are rising, and mentees are being taught life skills to help them along the way.

Quality mentoring changed the life of Rick Newell.  Mentoring is now changing the life of youth in the M.U.S.T. Mentoring Program. Mentoring works!  Please consider supporting M.U.S.T. Make your tax deductible donation today!