Monthly Archives: April 2009

PA eMentoring Hits the Compact Quarterly

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development recently published an article about us in the Pittsburgh Regional Compact in the Spring 2009 Quarterly publication. Below is a short segment about one of their employees who decided to sign up for eMentoring – and loved it!

Paul Leger, senior vice president of the workforce quality program at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, is one business professional who decided that he could find ten minutes per week to share his story with a mentee. Leger signed up and got connected. His mentee thought that he knew where he wanted to go, how to get there, and what opportunities would be available to him. But Leger was able to provide fresh perspective for his mentee by sharing his own post-high school journey and the career paths he pursued.

Leger helped his mentee look at college and career choices through different lenses so that the student is less likely to experience career disappointment and regret later in life.

“I got a new perspective on the need to use ‘career education’ to expose students to many of the options available to them – options that can shape their futures. Students must find out what kinds of training are needed for the career areas that they find interesting. My experience with high school students shows me that they do not have a broad sense of the possibilities for the future. They need much more exposure to the variety of available careers so that they can make informed choices when they graduate. It is sad to meet individuals who are middle aged and to hear them say, ‘I wish I had known …’ when reflecting on an unsatisfying career choice. That disappointment shouldn’t happen to students who really look at all of the possibilities,” said Leger.

Read the full article here!

PA eMentoring’s 2008-9 Rollout A Success

As many of you are aware, during this 2008-9 academic year Smart Futures piloted the rollout of a “souped up” version of our PA eMentoring program, an online college and career mentoring program for high school students that has the potential to engage large numbers of employers, high schools, and community based organizations in an easy, fun process that yields personalized College and Career Plans for 500 participating mentees.

Central to the project’s success is the adaptation of a 10-module curriculum, aligned to the PA Academic Standards for Career Education and Work, that guides the communication between mentor and mentee, as well as technology upgrades that allow for sophisticated program monitoring and built-in program evaluation.

Key partners in the project include 27 schools districts/schools including Pittsburgh Public Schools, 200 employers including UPMC, American Eagle, and Highmark, and intermediaries the Pittsburgh Regional Compact and the Mentoring Partnership. A full list of participating schools and employers is available at www.pa-ementor.org. The pilot is being supported by local funders including Pittsburgh Foundation, Highmark Healthy High Five Foundation, Buhl Foundation, Grable Foundation, BYN Mellon, Benedum Foundation, Duquesne Light and NexTier.

The pilot has sought to address the core obstacles inherent with expanding traditional mentoring programs: Could enough mentors be recruited? Would mentors see the online relationship as meaningful? Could the mentoring program be implemented easily within a classroom? Would the curriculum enhance the quality and flow of communication? Would the mentee perceive their relationship with their mentor as valuable? Could the process be monitored and evaluated to assure quality outcomes?

I am happy to report that the 2008-9 PA eMentoring rollout is meeting its major goals. Over 500 students have been matched one-to-one with mentors and during a 10-12 week process they have together discussed core issues related to college and career success. The conversations and activities have lead to the creation of a personalized college and career plan for each mentee.
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