ABOUT THE CLASS
Faculty at The University of Akron have partnered with the LeBron James Family Foundation, the Akron Public Schools, and iCARE Mentor of the United Way to design and implement a far-reaching community-wide mentorship initiative for area youth. University of Akron students enrolled in 5500 223: Urban Youth Mentoring gain valuable experience learning and implementing best practices in mentorship and working directly with city kids in our city’s schools. University students enrolled in the course are matched 1:1 with PROMISE youth in the Akron Public. Mentors meet weekly with their mentees on-site, under the supervision of faculty, at a local APS school in an after-school mentorship program. In these mentorship sessions, trained mentors guide youth in leading a healthy lifestyle and succeeding academically.Most mentorship takes place during scheduled class time. Throughout the semester, mentors are invited to special events sponsored by APS and the Foundation to build rapport with their mentees and their family.
This course is highly experiential and allows university students to connect their experiences with their mentee and their mentee’s family to scholarship and research in the area of urban education. Course objectives include university students:
Identifying ways in which mentors can create ‘culturally safe’ and ‘affirming’ spaces to learn from and engage multicultural urban youth
Understanding the connection between high quality schools and educational opportunities with the fates of urban communities and the lives of urban youth and their family. In particular, how socio-structured inequities influence urban youth achievement and civic progress
Engaging urban youth in constructing, reflecting on, and assessing their performance on their college and career goals, and providing informed recommendations, guidance, and support that assist youth in upholding their goals
Since its first cohort in spring 2015, University of Akron mentees have gained thousands of hours of mentorship. The course is offered every Spring and Fall Semester, is open to University of Akron undergraduates, and the course fulfills a General Education Elective (Tier III: Critical Thinking& Responsible Citizenship: Complex Systems). In order to be matched with an area youth, and placed at an area school, students must be able to pass a BCI & FBI Background Check. Research findings suggest university mentors are having a major impact on area youth development.
University students interested in enrolling in this exciting and rewarding course can contact Dr. Susan Kushner Benson at email@example.com
In fall 2015, the LeBron James Family Foundation announced a new partnership with The University of Akron. As part of this partnership, I PROMISE graduates (Class of 2021) who fulfill program requirements and admission criteria will receive free tuition at The University of Akron. Akron Public School youth are identified for Foundation services by the district in second grade (based on academic factors), and begin receiving Foundation interventions through graduation. UA faculty coordinate program evaluation efforts, and are leading a robust university-based mentorship initiative to support PROMISE youth, which are some of the district’s most academically vulnerable youth. Faculty at The University of Akron have partnered with the LeBron James Family Foundation, the Akron Public Schools, and iCARE Mentor of the United Way to design and implement a far-reaching community-wide mentorship initiative for area youth..
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