Do you want to support motivated students who have recently arrived from other countries?
Volunteering at Promising Paths is a unique and rewarding experience designed to pair mentors and high school students for optimal college and career success. With training and support from the Promising Paths team, you will work with a group of 3-5 English Learners from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I don’t speak any languages beside English. Can I still apply?
A: Yes! Speaking a second language is not a requirement to serve as a mentor. Because our students are English Learners, we encourage mentors to communicate in English whenever possible and we can provide language support when contacting students’ families. While a second language is not required, applicants who speak at least some Spanish or Arabic will be prioritized in the mentor application process.
Q: Where will I be mentoring?
All scholars on your team will attend one of 3 high schools in the Oakland Unified School District:
–Oakland High School (located in central Oakland near Lake Merritt)
–Oakland International High School (North Oakland)
–Castlemont High School (East Oakland)
Q: What does a typical week look like as a Promising Paths mentor?
A: Do not apply unless you are prepared to commit time and energy to mentoring. Mentors are expected to check in with each scholar once every two weeks about their grades and attendance, and host an in-person team meeting at least once every two months. This means you may have a week where all you do is send some text reminders about previously-discussed homework assignments (<1 hour), or you may have a week with in-person meetings, phone calls with students, and college essay editing (4 hours). While your activities as a mentor will vary from week to week, the time commitment will generally be between 1 and 4 hours in a week.
Each mentor commits to support their team for one school year, starting in April 2019 and ending in May 2020. Mentors are encouraged to return for subsequent years, but are free to move on after a year of service.
Q: I’m excited to be a mentor, but it sounds difficult. What support will I have?
A: 1. Trainings: All mentors are required to attend trainings provided by Promising Paths on topics like trauma-informed care, interactions with families, building community within your team, and building relationships with your scholars.
2. Peer Support: Mentors collaborate to support one another through in-person meetings and group messaging. Mentors can contact Lead Mentors any time with questions, concerns, and to seek out resources for their students.
3. Family Outreach Support: Our Family Outreach Lead has decades of experience meeting with Newcomer families and connecting them with essential resources.
Q: Do mentors get paid?
A: No. All Promising Paths mentors and officers are volunteers.