Broward County School Board Partners With Broward College to Advance Mentoring Program For Minority Males

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Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 1.17.34 PMThe Broward County School Board has partnered with Broward College to support and advance the Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders (MTL) initiative by creating a mentoring program for minority males attending Deerfield Beach High School and Nova High School. This program combines peer and group mentoring to high school students and provides Broward College students, under the guidance of a faculty member, the opportunity to help high school students through the transition to college or the workforce.

The partnership is made possible through $200,000 in state funding provided to the District by the Broward Legislative Delegation in support of Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Minority Male Mentoring initiative. The funds specifically support efforts to implement and enhance the District’s signature MLT program at Deerfield Beach High and Nova High.

MLT is a peer-to-peer mentoring, student leadership and dropout prevention program that serves youth who are at-risk for not remaining in school and/or graduating. Each school will have 200 minority male student participants in the program – 100 mentees matched with 100 mentors. The high school mentors in the MLT program are paired with a mentor of their own through the Broward College partnership.

“This program is a direct link to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative aimed at helping young men and boys of color facing tough odds reach their full potential,” said Dr. Laurel Thompson, BCPS director of student services. “ When I go to the schools, I see dynamic energy, active engagement and rich learning happening on a daily basis.”

“The mentoring program is a wonderful opportunity for Broward College student mentors to practice their mentoring and peer support skills,” said James Evans, Broward College North Campus dean of student affairs. “It’s equally beneficial for high school participants who are then provided with a comfortable, supportive environment to explore all of their challenges, both perceived and real, that they may face upon graduation.”

Peer mentors receive training before they begin the program to learn mentoring skills, such as giving and receiving feedback, supervision, goal setting and career planning. Once completed, Broward College students are able to help the high school students develop goal setting and organizational skills, as well as look into career opportunities, including STEM career exploration.