The mission of the The Sage Mentorship Project is to provide youth with a personal connection to mentors through academic and extracurricular activities in order to foster life skills and personal growth.
1. Recruiting high-achieving and dedicate UC Berkeley students who are committed to fostering long lasting and education-driven relationships with their elementary school mentees.
2. Providing elementary school students with encouragement to build strong academic values and self-confidence through classroom and after-school activities.
3. Focused on improving math and reading scores, mentors strive to tailor their one-on-one weekly sessions to meet the academic needs of their mentees.
4. Enabling UC Berkeley students to acquire leadership skills and life-enhancing experiences that cannot be learned in the classroom, but are solely gained through real-life relationships.
Statement of Purpose (What is Sage?)
The Sage Mentorship Project is a one-on-one mentoring program designed to enable UC Berkeley students to build a personal relationship with a local elementary school student. From the moment they step onto campus, the mentors conduct themselves as role models for all kids. Before mentoring, participants are trained on appropriate behabior and the expectations of the program. Furthermore, most mentors have previous experience working with children, and intrinsically know how to act.
Implementation of the Sage program requires that either the principal, after school program director, or equally hands-on individual identify which second-to-fifth grade students are most in need of a mentor or guide. The Sage site coordinator, who is the liaison between mentors and school staff, takes this list of students and matches them with the mentors based on the personal profiles filled out by each mentor. When possible, site coordinators attend staff meetings in order to get feedback from the teachers. The mentors are never a distraction during class time and each teacher's involvement in the program can be up to his or her discretion. The first meeting between mentor and mentee will involve some interaction with the teacher, including showing the mentor where the mentee sits and allowing the mentor a few minutes to introduce him or herself. After the first meeting, we suggest the mentors meet with the teachers for a short discussion about the specific needs of the child. We strive to personally tailor to each individual child's needs as much as possible, and will go the extra mile to do so.
Part of the appeal of the program and much of its success rests in its flexibility. While mentors are encouraged to pick a consistent time to vist each week, if ever a conflict arises, many choose to make up hours at a different time. Whether in class time or during after school hours, the mentors wear a badge or name tag so that all staff and faculty can identify them. Most mentors prefer to visit during after hours and spend their time helping with homework or playing on the playground. Though these simple interactions may not seem profound, the relationships built through the Sage program have a lasting effect. In schools where the program is already in place, students with mentors have shown academic improvement and a higher sense of self-esteem. The consistency of having one young adult that cares and takes interest in their lives creates confidence and a feeling of self-worth. The fact that all the mentors are UC Berkeley students makes a college education more tangible for the mentees and places it on their horizon of achievable goals. The Sage Mentorship Project is designed to be an auxiliary support system to those already in place at the school system that enhances social and academic development.