Youth Perceptions of a School-Based Mentoring Program

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Education and Urban Society

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Academic mentoring programs promote high school completion for at-risk youth. The purpose of this study was to hear the voice of youth in order to inform program services and develop best practices for meeting their academic needs. Using a grounded theory approach, we conducted 14 focus groups to examine high school students’ perceptions and experiences in the Avenue Scholars Foundation program. This study supported previous findings: students’ comments reflected on the importance of the relationships built in the program, the knowledge they gained, and their experiences regarding higher education and careers. The students shared that these experiences were increasingly meaningful because of the relationship built with their Talent Advisor and classmates. These relationships instilled hope for the future, created a pathway to college and career, and confirmed a belief that the students could accomplish their goals.


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