Mentorship At West

Halee Gregory, Reporter

Did you know we have a special program at West to help Freshmen acclimate to high school? It’s called mentorship.

“The mentorship program is intended to help the freshmen graduate from high school,” said Juan Vazquez, the mentorship teacher. The mentorship program started eight years ago, and the goal is to reach 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.

The whole concept of this program “is the idea of helping freshmen graduate high school, and obviously help increase the number in terms of graduates” said Mr. Vazquez. The person who created this program was Ms. Crawford, and now the mentorship is at two schools, West and South High Schools. This program really helps freshmen, but also the mentors. It helps them to be a better presenter, better speakers, and to be better prepared. In order to be a mentor you have to be a willing to learn, and reach a certain criteria.

When you become a mentor you work on verbal skills. So you’ll be able to speak better, and deliver your message better. The mentorship programs counts as an elective credit, and it lasts the whole school year. You can retake the class the next year, if you want. You can also put mentorship on your resume.  Mr. Vazquez recommends 90 percent to join the mentorship program.

Jordan Samarin is a freshman at West High School, and the freshmen are the main group of people that mentors help at West high. Jordan has heard about the program and she knows that the mentorship wants to help students graduate. She really likes the program because, “they actually care about you and want you to graduate.” She wishes that the mentors would come around more often, and take the whole period, because she loves being around them. They give off a good vibe, and they are really energetic, and they teach you something all at the same time.

The only thing that she would change about the program would be that the mentors stay there the whole period and funnier activities. The mentors make her care more about school. The mentorship program really helps this school and it helps the students.

“It is really fun to be a mentor,” said Sera Tuiniua, Amanda Agustin, and Henry Fale, some of the mentors from mentorship program. There is a little bit of pressure of being a mentor. You’re a leader; people look up to you, and its kind of hard when you go visit the freshmen. You have to be committed to be a mentor. You have to show up to class and try. “You can’t just show up and expect an A,” said Amanda Agustin.

There are weekly reflections you turn in every Friday; there is an essay you do that relates to leadership, and how to be a better mentor. Being a mentor you play energizers and do activities, and learn leadership skills. You must have respect, you cannot side talk, and you must avoid any device that can distract you.  Mentors help freshmen by giving them advice and help them transfer from middle school to high school. They also help them stay in school and graduate.

Mentors are also there for them, when the freshmen need them. They can talk to them about their problems, because sometimes they don’t want to talk to the counselor, or a teacher, they want to talk to someone their age. It takes commitment and leadership to be a mentor. Mentorship can change you as an individual; it makes you more of a positive person.  The mentorship program is “very diverse, and it feels like a family,” said Sera, and Amanda. Sera recommends students who are shy, or if you lack leadership, to join the mentorship program.