[CCF] Mentoring Middle-Schoolers

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


This term, I began mentoring two 6th grade girls at a nearby middle school. It's refreshing to step outside the Caltech bubble and see the perspectives of two tweens who've never even thought about college. It's also rewarding: Studies show that having a mentor makes an at-risk student 55% more likely to attend college, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and 130% more likely to hold a leadership position. Interested in participating? If you have 180 seconds, you can watch this video and be inspired. If you have an hour a week, you can mentor someone and be their inspiration.

Here are the details.

Time commitment: Mentors commit to meeting with their students for an hour per week until the end of the school year. These meetings can take place on pretty much any afternoon of your choice.

Getting there: Wilson is within biking distance, but if enough people want to go on the same day, we could work out a carpool or apply for Uber reimbursements from the Y.

Activities: This is up to you and your mentee. This week, my group wanted to make a volcano, so we found a dirt patch and mixed up some baking soda, vinegar, and red paint. Other things you could do: Read a book aloud, play sports or board games, teach the alphabet of another language, do a craft. Supplies are provided by the school.

Ultimately, mentoring is about being a consistent, dependable friend—not a surrogate parent or psychiatrist—so don't worry if you feel unqualified. If you're interested, the coordinator will be holding an info/training session next week, so please add your availability here so we can plan it around your schedule.