We were given the category “How Schools Work (or Don’t)” for our PIC project. Inspired by the Madison High School virtual pen pal program, which two of our teammates were participating in, we wanted our PIC project to focus on Madison High as well. Madison High has several wraparound programs in place to help students succeed, but the need for college mentors was something that we hoped we could meet with our blog Your Mentors Blog (www.yourmentorsblog.wordpress.com).
We first contacted Jaydra Johnson, who is in charge of the Madison virtual pen pal program, to find out if there was a greater need for mentorship at Madison. According Jaydra, Madison students were in need of college mentors and/or “…just someone to talk to”. We decided to build off of the virtual pen pal program by creating a blog that would be accessible to all Madison students. The goal of the blog was to provide resources and information about college (applications, tuition, scholarships, etc.) for Madison students and their parents. We also wanted to create blog posts that would give students a glimpse into our lives as college students, our personal stories, lessons we’ve learned through our journeys, and our perspectives on issues surrounding education inequity.
Mentorship provides advocacy and support to students, increasing their likelihood of success. Mentorship programs can enhance academic achievement and social and emotional development of mentees. Most mentor-mentee relationships are personal in nature, but our focus was to provide mentorship to as many students as possible. Using a blogging platform allowed us reach many students. Blogging also allowed us to model proper grammar and punctuation, academic success, persistence, and critical thinking.
During the past eight weeks of operation, Your Mentors Blog has received an average of eighty-nine visitor-viewing hours and our most popular post was “A Day in My Life at PSU”. We completed a total of sixteen posts. Our blog’s information was passed on to Jaydra, some of her colleagues and students at Madison High as well as Madison’s College and Career Cente