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Mentoring Monday

Today is Mentoring Monday around the District! There are thousands of youth across our region who are in need of a caring adult, a positive role-model, a friend to offer guidance about and spark interest in school, new activities and their future…in other words, a mentor. This consistent, positive relationship has a profound effect on mentees; in fact, youth who meet regularly with a mentor:

  • have better school attendance, a better chance of going on to higher education, and better attitudes toward school,
  • are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, or engage in criminal behavior,
  • are more self-confident and have more positive social relationships,
  • are more likely to get involved with community/extra curricular activities and broader their horizons.

Though the need is great, we are lucky to have so many wonderful mentoring organizations as part of our network. So if you missed the Mentoring Monday phonebank this morning, consider becoming a mentor and checking out some of our charities below.

Capital Partners for Education makes a college degree possible for low-income youth in the Washington, DC area. Since 1993, CPE has connected motivated students from low-income families with the opportunities, resources, and guidance they need to graduate from high school and college and pursue professional careers. CPE provides students with a unique combination of one-on-one mentoring, individualized staff support, college and career readiness programming, and scholarships. By complementing the rigorous education with additional wrap-around services, CPE levels the playing field between our students and their upper-income peers, thereby breaking the multigenerational cycle of poverty one family at a time. Over the past 20 years, the organization has supported more than 500 students and has produced a 75% program completion rate, a 99% college enrollment rate and a 70% college completion rate for its graduates — more than three times the rate nationally and five times the rate in DC. Contact: Chris Lockwood, Recruitment and Selection Associate, 202-682-6020 ext. 221,

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)For children living in foster care in Prince George’s County, MD and Fairfax County, VA, their Court Appointed Special Advocate may well be the only source of comfort and safety they have while they wait for a permanent and stable home. CASA gives a voice to abused and neglected children in the foster care system by training and supervising volunteer advocates and promoting the timely placement of children in stable homes. Volunteers are assigned to one child and commit to advocating for one year. Volunteers spend 10-15 hours per month meeting with their child and advocating on his or her behalf. In Hyattsville, MD, contact: Ann Marie Binsner 301-209-0491, , or visit:
In Fairfax, contact Elisa Kosarin,, (703) 273-3526 or visit:

Higher Achievement – Targeting academically motivated students at a critical juncture – 5th through 8th grade – and working with them in the “gap” hours after school and over the summer, Higher Achievement offers rigorous academic classes and stresses the discipline and dedication children need to succeed. A four-year, sustained academic intervention, it requires a serious commitment from its scholars and offers exciting bonuses in return: advanced intellectual discussions, university trips, and lectures on current topics. 100% of scholars improve by 20% or more on standardized tests, 100% of 2011 graduates advanced to college-preparatory high schools (90% to top choice schools like Gonzaga, Banneker, and Sidwell), and 93% ultimately head to college, compared to 50% citywide. Mentors teach a small group (3-4) of 5th or 6th graders in a core academic subject: Math, Literature, or an Elective Seminar (all curriculum and training provided), one night per week Mon, Tue, or Thurs, mid-September until early May. Serves DC and Alexandria, VA. Contact: Matt Thornton, Dir. Volunteer Management 202-375-7733

Mentoring Today — Youth at the secure residential treatment facility for young males (New Beginnings) have frequent arrests to their names. When they return home, poverty, violence, and staggering unemployment await them. So Mentoring Today targets 17-19 year-olds before, during, and after re-entry. Through a partnership with Students United, Mentoring Today pairs each youth with a Washington College of Law student who can act both as confidante and zealous advocate. Together, they plan post-release goals, from earning a GED, to beginning vocational training, to finding a job; guided by a staff attorney, mentors also ensure that each young man receives the public education, health, and support services to which he is entitled. Last year, only one-third of mentees re-offended; none committed violent crimes. Imagine the change. Serves DC. Call (202) 678-9001 or find more here:

Mentoring to Manhood, Inc. – Last year in Prince George’s County, only 55% of black males graduated from high school. A grassroots mentorship nonprofit, M2M offers personal and academic support to African-American middle and high school boys (grades 7-12) in the county whose average GPA is 1.8 and most of whom report low self-confidence. Through weekly group mentoring and tutoring, mentees develop collaboration and life skills, enjoy team sports and community service, and come together for a Leadership Retreat. Offices located in Upper Marlboro, MD Contact: Rob Howze, 240-461-8474;

Mentors Inc. – Founded by a DCPS educator and parent of a high school student to combat DC’s low high-school graduation rates, Mentors, Inc. places at-risk students in one-on-one relationships with trained adults to help them develop their potential, encourage them to stay in school, and see that they graduate with a plan for the next step in life. While only 58% of the city’s seniors graduate from high school, 93% of the most recent Mentors, Inc “proteges” did, and 84% are enrolled in college. Mentors are paired with students ages 14-18, grades 9-12. Offices located in Washington, D.C. Contact: Remeka Blakey at or 202-783-2310,

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