Mentorship Program at Public School 114 Lorren Torres, Bronx NY

Updated: Jan 11, 2019

AFETT Past President, Tricia Leid continued her passion of mentoring after moving to New York in December, 2017. Interestingly, her relationship with AFETT began when she mentored girls of Belmont Secondary in 2010 and there began her continuous work of developing girls through mentorship. It was not long after arriving in New York that volunteer opportunities arose and with the guidance of the school's Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Caroline Rostant she began a tailored mentorship program in February 2018. To-date, along with tutoring slow readers, has since had 3 mentorship cycles. At its core, the program centers on Character, College and Career, as outlined by the Mentor New York program certification Tricia obtained in 2016. Additionally, she was asked to focus on Interview skills for Prep Middle School intern program and team work, with the emphasis to minimise bullying.

Why Mentoring? The single most effective action was creating the Success Mentor Corps. The attendance of some students with mentors rose an entire month, even students in homeless shelters saw improvements – they were 31% less likely to be chronically absent. www.mentornewyork.org.

The ages of the girls raged from 7 to 10 years and having worked with older girls in Trinidad, she noted that the diversity and family backgrounds dealt with more complexed issues. Many of the girls lived in shelter homes or in doubled up facilities (2 or more families in one household). Similarly however, all the girls mentored were happy to learn, grow and share. Each had a desire to succeed and only needed the opportunity to know that they could. The Bronx School, has an active Social Worker department with the Clinical Social Worker at the head of the team. Caroline Rostant is also responsible for intern Social Workers who were completing their Master's programs. In addition, to facilitating the only mentorship program at the school, Tricia had to complete the online Bridging-the-Gap assessment for students who were in shelter and double up homes.

Each mentorship cycle lasted 4 to 6 weeks and includes focused attention to presenting their completed vision board as well as presenting a Thank You gift to the Social Worker and their Teacher. External school trips were coordinated to end the cycle to solidify interactive learning and further visualize their future choices for College and Career. One group toured Columbia University and another attended the United Nations Kids tour. They enjoyed snacks and pictures while waiting on the bus for their return ride. Learning is fun and leaders create more leaders of the future.

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