Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee has new electronic mentoring program aimed career-focused high school students.
Mentor 2.0 pairs students with local professionals in a secure email relationship. Students correspond with their mentors in a classroom setting, following prompts given throughout the school year.
"We match one student with one adult. The adult is college educated and career-focused," said Amy Chionchio, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee. "They are a role model of what we are hoping to open the door for these students."
Students at Veritas High School are among the first group in the country to use the model. Mentor 2.0 is active in only seven other cities in the U.S.
The curriculum challenges students to develop both educational and career goals, emphasizing the importance of professional electronic communication.
"We're looking for grammar and sentence structure, the student's ability to read, write and respond," said Chionchio.
Students will continue the correspondence throughout their high school years. And because the class is made of up freshmen, that means they’ll be exposed to four years of constant communication though the program.
And it's more than just a written relationship. Students also meet face-to-face with their mentors monthly, allowing them to sharpen in-person communication skills, too.
The goal, Chionchio said, is for students to build long-term relationships with their mentors, beyond college and even into their careers.
Click the podcast player to listen in on a recent session at Veritas High School.