Need for Mentorship Program at MTMS
- It is difficult for one MTMS employee, the Graduate Support Director, to provide personal mentorship to all MTMS students (60 on site and ever increasing alumni).
- MTMS students receive an enriched, individualized program for three years in middle years. A form of personal individualized support needs to follow students beyond MTMS to ensure success.
- High school and post-secondary institutions are not set up for sustained in-depth, proactive individualized support. While there has been some support to follow students long term relationships are not expected or supported. Past experience has shown long term traditional school attempts at supporting students beyond their walls does not work and is not a realistic mandate.
- Students with limited resources and family connections could benefit from being linked to mentors who can advocate for them. MTMS parents have a high trust in the school and agree and cooperate with this initiative.
- In poverty, relationships are particularly valuable and essential so creating strong healthy adult relationships is an asset for this specific group of students.
- While MTMS creates strategic student networks, this must continue beyond middle years as part of the MTMS mandate of following students to employment. This project is another piece of evidence that MTMS is serious about network sustainability in light of significant student diversity.
- Saskatchewan Indicators 2011 indicates the continued failure of the aboriginal student population Saskatchewan high schools. A mentorship program is one mechanism to help with that critical transition.
- Specifically, successful grade 8 to 9 transitions are critical to student success. This program can help motivate students to attend school and problem solve around financial, social and emerging educational issues, and can soften the change and continue student hope, wellness and engagement.
A mentor is a wise and trusted friend to a youth. The most important thing that a mentor in this program will do is to build a trusting relationship with a child. This relationship-building will help the mentee understand positive and negative relationships, open up to others, learn to ask for help when it’s needed, and generally grow developmentally through the mentoring program.