How Can A Peer Mentoring Program Help Students Succeed Academically?

Cafeteria at Potrero School

Youth Voices is working with students from South El Monte High School to explore El Monte/South El Monte and the surrounding communities. The students have formed teams to explore and investigate their communities, map assets, collect and share stories, data and community input for their projects. All the while they are learning and expanding their knowledge of digital media and civic engagement. Follow their work on social media by using the hashtag #KCETYV.

Team Name:
Las OG's

Team Members:
Daniela T.
Sylvia S.
Maria M.
Rachel R.
Karen T.

Our group Las OG's (Older Generation) seeks to inform incoming freshman about what to expect in high school. We want to motivate 8th graders to pursue their dreams, and support them so they never give up on their goals. We want to involve parents early on so they can help their children as they go through high school and prepare for after high school. Our group will introduce what the A-G requirements are and what classes to take in order to complete them. This mentoring program will prepare students not only for high school but for the rest of their life.

Our vision is to see incoming freshman progress academically and set higher standards for themselves, that way they can become more independent and responsible. Our main focus is to build a strong mentoring program and pass it on to other generations so it can also help them. This program will help participants when applying to a 4 year college and continue to enrich their lives in the future. Las OG's vision is to let teenagers know that being a follower won't help them succeed in life. It takes leadership, quality work, discipline and determination for an optimistic change within themselves and society.

The mentoring program will help alert incoming freshmen not to slack off once they start their first year in high school. We believe that it's extremely important due to the small number of Latino students currently meeting their A-G requirements at South El Monte High School. Meeting these requirements is essential to apply for and be accepted into a school that is part of the Cal State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) systems. Our point is to help young 8th grade students by preventing them from making the same mistakes we've made. We want to connect with younger students to share our experiences, and let them know that not too long ago, we were in their shoes. Learning from our experience made us realize that high school is not just about having fun, its purpose is to focus and prepare for college so that we can be successful in life both physically and mentally.

Data from South El Monte High School (2013-14) showing the % of students taking and completing classes that meet the A-G requirements

In this time, during their adolescents they might be facing academic and personal struggles. It's become more and more difficult for young adults to stay on track due to many temptations the world offers such as, drugs, social media or anything that can cause bad behavior. Due to a variety of situations, many students aren't aware of how to manage the classes in order to graduate with complete A-G's or honors. Our objective is to help them feel comfortable around us so they can ask questions, share problems, and see they have a community of students and adults that care about them and want them to succeed. We want to work with 8th graders because we know that it will be easier for them to open up and speak to us about what they plan on doing when entering high school. Our neighborhood needs a higher percentage of Latino students graduating high school and college. We want to be part of that solution.

We plan on achieving our goal by reaching out to the Ms. Torres, the Avid coordinator at Potrero Elementary school. We have begun our first step by getting support from Ms. Quezada, our AVID teacher at South El Monte High School. She will be helping us throughout this whole process. To accomplish this goal, we will need the participation and help of the elementary school teachers from the 8th grade so we can make this possible. Our group is planning on making flyers and creating a powerpoint presentation for students at Potrero School. We hope to get them involved in this cause to help younger generations stay on task in school & be consistent of their grades and meet the requirements for graduation.

Our ultimate vision for the mentorship program is to provide academic information that 8th graders and their parents need when entering high school in order for them to be able to achieve their dreams. Our hope is that 10 years from now this program will be very successful with more students meeting their A-G requirements and getting into college.

Las OGs showing their school spirit

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