What Does Mentoring Mean in the Portland Public Schools?

Mentoring programs help foster one-on-one relationships with caring adults and peers to encourage a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Mentoring has a rich history at Portland Public Schools beginning with the creation of the Portland Mentoring Alliance in 1992. Today the program continues to focus on its original goal of fostering one-on-one relationships between Portland High School students and positive adult role models from the local community.

Mentors play a significant role in the lives of our high schoolers, encouraging their mentees as they navigate the bumpy journey between adolescence and young adulthood. They share their time, personal interests and professional experience, as well as provide academic support and guidance on college and career aspirations.

Deering High School adopted a peer mentoring model, connecting incoming freshman with responsible senior students based on shared interests and a mutual agreement to meet once a week during the year. Mentors help empower their younger mentees to become more engaged in their education and make the most out of their high school experience.

Student Being Mentored by Adult Professional. Image by Monica MeltonHow it Works

Primarily, a mentor serves as a consistent, reliable role model and a trusted friend to a high school student. The relationship provides the mentor with opportunities to share professional and personal interests, and offer the student career/college guidance. Usually a mentor meets with the student for a minimum of one hour per week for one school year. The relationship may extend beyond one year if both the mentor and mentee agree.

Goals of the Program

1. To ensure there are significant adults who take interest in the lives of students.

2. To assist students with knowledge, skills, and attitude in their academics, career path, and relationships in high school and beyond.

3. To sustain and increase the number of matches.
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