Cultivating Mentorship Opportunities in Hayward Promise Neighborhoods

By Edgar Chavez, Executive Director, Hayward Promise Neighborhoods

Mentorship is an prospect to support other people experience seen and check out all prospects for their long run. Reflecting on my perform with young persons for above a ten years, I didn’t always see the power of these concepts. As leaders, we are likely to lead with outcomes rather than associations. To see ourselves and others in our wholeness usually means also knowing earlier and present forces that condition our daily activities so that we may perhaps be open to new opportunities, in particular for the duration of these anxious occasions.  

Hayward Promise Neighborhoods (HPN) has leveraged its unique educational property to nurture neighborhood-sustaining mentorship options with learners and families. For nearly a decade and two U.S. Division of Instruction grants, our 11-spouse collaborative led by Cal State East Bay (CSUEB) has worked to carry our institutions closer to our households and communities. The pandemic has highlighted persistent inequities throughout our schools and neighborhoods, mainly doing work-class communities of colour, which expert COVID-19 transmission rates that rated amongst the major in the Bay Spot. Inspite of the transfer to distance finding out, our associates ongoing to present digital spaces for mentorship and social-emotional discovering while making the ability of our educational institutions and partners through regular monthly convenings. In 2021, our HPN associates documented in excess of 9,373 points of contact with pupils by means of dozens of school and neighborhood-primarily based things to do from delivery to higher education.  

HPN companions like Chabot College and CSUEB place college students—most of the Hayward graduates—as interns in HPN schools to create mentorship experiences through student identity-based programs and routines. University mentors serve as aids in African American Literature and English learner classes for Latinx and Afghan learners, and lead enrichment clubs to support students create a higher education-heading identity, these kinds of as Chavez Chicxs (female and non-binary Latinx students), Pacific Islanders Unite, and STEAM Team. Pupils who are the very first in their people to go to college have a protected room to discover their cultural identity and the opportunities of pursuing postsecondary education. At the exact same time, college or university mentors are navigating their first-generation identity and perception of belonging on university campuses by giving again to their faculty communities. Robin Galas, the Director of TRIO, a federally funded program to guidance learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, and HPN programs at Chabot School, says that in these areas, mentors and pupils are advised, “You get to redefine who is a college or university university student. Your pretty existence defines what it usually means to be a university pupil.” HPN continues the mentorship pipeline for Hayward graduates at CSUEB with a College student Accomplishment Coach from the community, in which we have seen a 32% raise in enrollment, like Chabot transfers, and more students earning above a 2.5 GPA from 61% to 81% since 2018.  

By adopting a twin-potential method to mentorship, we create mutually reinforcing mentorship experiences integrated into studying contexts and sustained by neighborhood connections. As pupils navigate the educational pipeline, they consider on mentorship roles to their more youthful peers and, together, explore new options for their futures as college-goers and educators. With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt university student discovering and wellbeing, we have an chance to focus on the desires of both of those educators and pupils by providing them with the tools and frameworks that meet up with them where they are correct now.  

I grew up in unincorporated Hayward as an English Learner. Local lecturers, mentors, and school programs motivated me to be the initially in my generation to earn a bachelor’s and graduate degree. Many of us return or keep in our communities when we do not see a lot more of us in postsecondary and skilled areas. As a director during these times, I see my role in sustaining discovering and leadership environments exactly where our identities are a source of energy and where by we can visualize new options for each and every other and upcoming generations. 

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