Mentoring at Portland High School

Mentoring at Portland High School

“It has been a true blessing and one of the most wonderful life experiences I've ever had. I am so grateful this program exists and for the relationships it has brought together.” ~ Johanna Albanese, Mentor at Portland Mentoring Alliance

"I'm proud to say that my mentees have moved up from English Language Learners courses to mainstream college preparatory courses, in less than two years. I see bright futures for my mentees, and I'm very happy to have played an integral part in their success as students and people.” ~ Steve Davis, Volunteer Mentor for Portland Mentoring Alliance.

The Portland Mentoring Alliance

The Portland Mentoring Alliance is a non-profit program at Portland High School (PHS) that matches students with positive adult role models from the community. This public-private partnership was established in 1992 with local businesses and the school district, and since that time, it has served approximately 2,000 students.

Today, the program continues to focus on its original goal of fostering one-one-one relationships to provide students with additional academic support and a greater sense of belonging within their community. On average, mentors meet with students for an hour each week during the school year, and often times these connections grow into lasting friendships well beyond the high school years.

Mentors share their personal interests and professional experience with their mentees, and when the time is right, they also provide guidance on college and career aspirations. Most importantly though, these volunteers play a significant role in the lives of our high schoolers, helping them prepare for their future while also encouraging them as they navigate the bumpy journey between adolescence and young adulthood.

While the Portland Mentoring Alliance is open to all students at Portland High School, many who participate are first-generation immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, whose academic success depends on learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. In addition, the program offers social and cultural events for all of our mentor-mentee pairs to gather together through shared experience. Events like these help deepen the mentoring relationship and strengthen ties between all of our participants.

Thank you to our program partners Maine Medical Center, Unum and Wex Inc. For more information about the program or how to become a mentor, contact Jennifer Cook, Portland Mentoring Alliance Coordinator at cookj@portlandschools.org.

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