Thank you so much for your interest in CP Mentors. There are several ways to get involved with the program and a brief outline of our objectives and opportunities is listed below.
We are looking for mentors with a college degree. We welcome mentors from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds, as we try to match individual students with mentors who share common academic and/or outside interests. All mentors who are a part of the CP Mentors Program must be cleared through CORI and SORI forms, as mandated by the State of Massachusetts for all volunteers and teachers working with minors. This clearance allows mentors to work virtually, or to meet with their student in a group or an in-school setting. If a mentor would like to work with their student outside of school, however, they will also need to be screened by the State of Massachusetts fingerprinting protocol. This is very easy to do, and the cost will be reimbursed by CP Mentors, so we encourage our mentors to take this additional step so they have the flexibility of seeing their mentee on their own time.
CP Mentors offers a few different volunteer opportunities.
A traditional mentoring program that offers one-on-one support and encouragement to a student, or several students, beginning in their junior year of high school and continuing into college. Possible areas of high school guidance may include:
- Assistance with college and scholarship applications
- Resume help
- Practicing interviewing skills
- Facilitating group college visits if needed
As students transition from high school to college, mentoring support and encouragement continues and may include assistance in the following areas:
- Advice on course selection and majors
- Working on time management and college resources skills
- Serving as a sounding board as new situations or problems arise
- Suggesting internships or summer employment opportunities
- Career networking advice
In prior years the mentors have primarily worked with their student on a one-on-one basis, with mentors taking on the responsibility for keeping the lines of communication open and encouraging their mentee to stay on schedule with their college applications. Since many of our mentors either work full time or are located outside of Boston, we began to realize that most communication was being done via phone and email. While this worked well with some students in the program, we feel strongly that the more time the student spends with their mentor in person, the more trust and confidence develops, and the more likely they are to continue to reach out once they head off to college. That, as you know, is the ultimate goal of CP Mentors.
So, with this in mind, our new model continues to keep each mentor paired with an individual student that shares common interests and career goals, but the difference is that now individual mentors will be assigned to be a part of a mentoring support team. Each mentoring team will be made up of 5-7 mentors and 5-7 students, and will have a Team Coordinator (see below) that spends time in school each week. Each mentor will continue to be responsible for actively engaging with their mentee, but now they will also have the benefit of a Team Coordinator, as well as other members of their team, to step in with assistance if and when it is needed.
The Team Coordinator is the head of their Mentoring Team. This is someone who is able to go to Cristo Rey on a regular basis and can touch base with all of the students on the team during the college prep class. Being a part of the college class will allow them to work directly with the college guidance counselors to see firsthand what the students are working on, what areas of help are needed, and pass that information along to the student’s mentor.
CP Mentor Training and Support
The CP Mentors staff is committed to offering all mentors and essay volunteers ongoing support while they are participating in the program, including the following:
- Periodic training sessions with a CP Mentors staff member to ensure that all mentors are competent and fully aware of the process as it relates to their students
- Access to CP Mentors staff assistance
- Opportunities for group support sessions with other mentors
- Follow up with high school counselors as needed