With student success in mind, Garland ISD partnered with world-renowned teacher and speaker Adolph Brown to launch a Professional School Based Mentoring Program (PSBM), which debuted at 14 schools in 2015-16.
“Students are given a mentor who meets with them once a week for 15-30 minutes to check on how they are doing,” said Family and Community Engagement Director Ramona Aguilar. “Because it is a one-on-one session, students do not get lost in the crowd. We are investing time in our students, helping them set goals and dream of a bright future.”
Mentors are trained by Brown and paired with students needing extra support. Together, they enhance academic performance and positive behavior. The program was well-received during its first year, with one of the inaugural participants saying it changed his life.
“[My mentor] has taught me to control myself, control my anger. I know I can talk to my mentor about anything,” said 14-year-old Julian Leija. “If it was not for this program, I think I would have been in juvenile detention or jail. Now, I am in school. I am learning and I feel great about it. This program helped me be a better me, a better me than I was yesterday.”
In addition to one-on-one sessions, participants also attend student character assemblies, where they get to interact and hear from Brown and his team. To bring the experience full circle, Brown also hosts Parent University nights so families are able to learn about how they can support their child at home.
“Everyone says it only takes one caring adult to have a positive influence on the life of a child, and we are devoting time to do that here in GISD,” Aguilar stated.
PSBM launches at 13 additional campuses in 2016-17, hoping to impact even more lives and bring positivity to the community.