YESS peer mentoring program has been successful in breaking the negative cycle of poverty, dropout and violence to a positive cycle of leadership development, civic engagement and academic excellence in Abraham Lincoln High School. The success has been evident by the testimonials of our past mentees and mentors. YESS mentoring helped Jackie to break away from her involvement with the gang called pink lady. She says, “YESS mentoring was a life changing experience for me both as a mentee and a mentor and I highly encourage freshman who are struggling to utilize this program. The mentors are there by choice because they want to help. So trust them and they will provide all the support they can.” Similarly, Flor Marin Perez, who was YESS mentor from 2006 until 2009 says, “Joining YESS Institute was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me during high school. It gave me a chance to socialize more with students I had never even realized went to Lincoln. I made my enemies become my friends and most importantly I realized that there were also other people with the same family and life issues like me and sometimes some students had it even worse. The experience helped me grow as a person.”
This year, we have 25 mentors and 25 mentees. The mentors are juniors and seniors, who are not only academically accomplished, but also very involved in extra curricular activities including National Honor Society, leadership clubs and sports. The mentees we are working with include freshmen that are at risk of dropping out of school. Through peer-to peer mentoring and helping students to acquire emotional intelligence, we not only improve the mentees’ attendance, but also help them to reach their full academic and social potential.
Furthermore, the most amazing aspects of the program are the mentors, who are providing a positive role model for these kids. They are leaving no stones unturned to make them come to school. Besides helping them with academics and motivating them to succeed, the mentors are not afraid to even chase the mentee down the halls to remind them not to miss classes and reinforce positive belief in their abilities. For instance, one of the current mentees had a bad grade in his first period, as he could never wake up early to make it to class. His mentor gifted him an alarm clock and told him, “Every morning when this clock rings, remember I have am counting on you and believe that you can wake up and make it on time.” Indeed, a very touching moment to witness the extent our mentors go to in order to help the mentees succeed.
If you have any further question, please contact Parker Kuehn, Program Specialist at Abraham Lincoln High School.
Phone number: 720-436-5053.
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