Why Public Schools Should Reinvent Mentorship

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by Daniel Lombrosco (WATCH VIDEO)

Jessica Valoris is a “dream director,” a new take on the guidance counselor role that combines mentorship, life coaching, and artistic training. Jessica’s job is difficult: Only 22 percent of students at Roosevelt High School are at grade level and many are on the verge of dropping out. “I’m creating a space for students where, regardless of what setbacks they have, they can be a leader,” says Jessica. One of Jessica’s students, Emauni Hill, has faced discrimination and long-considered abandoning school. It wasn’t until Emauni met Jessica that she realized her academic potential and felt empowered to pursue a career in the arts. Emauni is now set to be the first member of her family to graduate high school.

Jessica Valoris is employed by The Future Project, an education non-profit that embeds “dream directors” in schools across the country.