The Talented 10th Mentoring Program (501c3) started in 1983 as an experience for inner city youth to be exposed to the college environment, especially college environments out of the urban area. For many first generational students, this may be the first and sometimes the only college experience they may enjoy. Many high schools will invite students with high grades and ACT scores to participate in college trips, leaving the mid-grade earners behind not understanding that the mid-grade earners never had a reason to strive for higher grades. However, it has been our experience that once the mid-grade earner is exposed many of them begin to work harder for higher grades.
The Talented 10th Mentoring provides up to 160 high school students (mentees) per year (up to 12 elementary school students) an overnight college shadowing experience with a College student (mentors). The high school student shadows the college student to class, social events, athletic activities and they eat and sleep in the dorms. The high school students also attend workshops on admission, financial aid and learn about other college essentials.
The program is a culturally competent program, so students are matched by gender, ethnic and interest as much as possible. After the trip the mentors and mentees usually continue to stay in touch with each other and subsequent visits continue until the high school student becomes a college student and s/he now becomes the mentor, so the process continues (for 33 years). Students who participate typically do better as college students, because they now have a mentor at the start of their post-secondary experience. Approximately, 2,500 of our participants have graduated from college to date.