The Hennepin County Bar Association in Minneapolis recently announced that it had partnered with Achieve Minneapolis, a local nonprofit education advocacy group, to recruit, train and assign students to attorneys willing to serves as graduation mentors to the students.
The program, coordinated by the HCBA Diversity Pipeline Subcommittee, involves a two-hour monthly commitment from attorneys. Attorneys meet with a high school junior at the school facility once a month during the school year. They also agree to a once-a-month e-mail exchange with the student. The total monthly time commitment is estimated to be two hours.
The goal of the program is to help students prepare to be college or career ready when they graduate high school. “The graduation coaches was created to connect with those students who do not have access to resources, are not involved in programs, and just really need a little extra attention to make sure that they get involved and engaged in planning for their future,” said Marika Pfefferkorn of Achieve Minneapolis. “ That’s where the graduation coach idea came from, matching significant adults with a young person in a school and giving them the opportunity to explore and discuss what the possibilities are for their future.”
Having an adult tell a student “I did it, and so can you,” is an empowering experience, according to Pferfferkorn. “When we think about the graduation coaches, we think about a powerful team and a partnership between an adult and a student that can not only make a difference in the lives of the students, but in the school community and surrounding community as well,” she said.
Click here for more information on the program from the HCBA.