By Abbie Evans
MENTOR Director of Government Relations
August 1, 2013 (reprinted from mentoring.org)
Today, Representative André Carson from Indiana’s 7th Congressional district introduced the Transition-to-Success Mentoring Act to establish a national competitive grant program targeted at at-risk youth in middle school. The bill would allow local schools – on their own or through a partnership with a nonprofit organization – to pair at-risk youth with a qualified mentor to help the student navigate the transition from middle school to high school and address other academic, social and emotional challenges along the way.
A key component of the bill requires the mentor to establish a detailed plan designed around the student’s needs with the help of parents and educators. Parents would enter into an agreement with the mentor and the school to underscore their role in supporting the student’s efforts. The school would help identify the students’ strengths and weaknesses, and focus primarily on his or her academic progress. The mentor would serve as the student’s advocate in all things and help him or her identify the tools necessary to succeed.
MENTOR supports the Transition-to-Success Mentoring Act, which establishes a $50 million competitive grant program to support young people with this proven approach of mentoring. Quality, evidence-based mentoring reduces student absenteeism, improves positive behavior, increases academic achievement, and helps students feel connected to their school. We applaud Representative Carson for his leadership and for his support of a critical strategy to support students’ success.