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Staunton Mentoring Alliance

Staunton, VA

Amount Requested: $10,000 for our Stand By Me Community Mentoring Program

Mission: The Staunton Mentoring Alliance connects Staunton high school youth with responsible adults who help guide these young people through the transition from middle school to high school and from high school to college or employment. Mentors also provide support to help the student maintain or improve school success and explore and prepare for future career opportunities.

Constituents Served: High school students at Lee High School are eligible for our services. The program will eventually expand to include middle school and private high school students. The pilot program was developed in partnership with the Staunton City School District and launched in January, 2016. The pilot program has approximate 10 mentors and 10 mentees participating, and the roll out of the program in Sept ’16 will have two to three times the number of participants, depending on community response.

Program Overview: The Staunton Mentoring Alliance fulfills its mission through one-on-one and (eventually) group mentoring. Our approach is the Stand By Me mentoring program, which has been developed and will be rolled out as a pilot program at Lee High School late winter/spring 2016. Stand By Me is different from that of most mentoring programs because, as a community mentoring program, we form partnerships with community service organizations so that all mentors and mentees are enabled to ensure success.

The Virginia Mentoring Partnership conducted a survey in 2013 that found that, while the Shenandoah Valley had risk-factors that are lower that the state average, the valley was identified as being a “high need” area for mentoring services.   The Staunton Mentoring Alliance is established to address this exact issue.Our collective vision is for every child to have a positive mentoring experience, provided by individuals in the community, by the time they graduate from high school.

The Pilot Program (involving 10 students) has been developed and is being implemented late winter/spring 2016. Once the pilot has been completed this May, we will need to begin ramping up the program so that it can take on more students in September of 2016. Obtaining more volunteer mentors, with the required background checks, will be a priority.

Now that we have the pilot program developed with our alliance partner Staunton City Schools, it’s time to roll it out and then obtain feedback from both mentors and mentees.

During next fiscal year, beginning July 2016, our most important goals include obtaining 2-3 more alliance partners, such as the YMCA; recruiting more mentors; and ensuring that the mentoring experience is excellent for both the mentors and mentees.

Current Operating Budget: $7,000

Program Budget: $36,900 (FY 2016 implementation)

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