The College Perspectives Mentor Program may be new on paper, but it is an idea that has been in the works for a long time. Combined, our team has over 30 years of experience working in college guidance and admissions, and during that time we have seen the same patterns emerge over and over again: The college application process is incredibly stressful, and freshman year of college is a struggle. Some of the students we’ve worked with over the years were lucky enough to have family members to show them the ropes and offer both emotional and financial support during this time, and even for these lucky students the process is daunting. For first generation college students, however, the application and enrollment processes can be even more difficult. In particular, we have seen repeatedly that as the challenges of freshman year add up, small obstacles can suddenly seem overwhelming, resulting in a student deciding to drop out of school. After witnessing this pattern of behavior, we realized that simply offering students advice, support, and friendship during this stressful transition period made a huge difference in their willingness to stick it out.
Thus the idea for CP Mentors was born. The goal is simple: to give students the extra guidance they might need to reach their goal of obtaining a college degree. To do this, we match juniors and seniors in high school with a mentor who is there to provide them with an extra layer of support during this time. Mentors range in age from late 20s to early 80s, and have a wide range of backgrounds and career paths. But one thing they have in common is that they are all college graduates, they are all prepared to answer questions about the college process, offer advice for the future, or to simply lend an ear when things get stressful. It’s a very simple way to make a very big difference in the life of a young adult.
The College Perspectives Mentor Program is a spin off of College Perspectives LLC, a for-profit college counseling group in Philadelphia. After a move to Boston, we spent countless hours looking for the perfect school to launch this project. After meeting the students, faculty and staff at Cristo Rey Boston High School in Dorchester, we knew we had found what we were looking for. If you haven’t already looked at the CRB website, please do so. You will be as amazed as we were by the dedication and determination of everyone involved at this school.
Launching CP Mentors has been an exciting challenge, and could not have been accomplished without the help and support of an advisory group who offered valuable insight on a wide range of issues, and served as unofficial publicists and recruiters along the way. We have an incredibly talented and committed group of mentors have begun working with the juniors and seniors at Cristo Rey Boston, and as a team we feel we are in a position to do something special.