The ASD Summer of Discovery included a mentorship program. The mentors ranged in age from future Lakeside High School Juniors to a recent college graduate. These mentors began their employment with ASD by filling out an application for the position. Next, each mentor was put through a 20 plus question interview process with two ASD hiring staff members.
Qualifying candidates were offered the 6 week summer school positions if they could agree to the terms of commitment for the entire six weeks, willingness to take a weekly drug test, and adherence to all expectations presented in the ASD Mentor job description.
The mentors proved themselves each day in a most excellent manner. They assisted the students during their academics by monitoring their work and helping them problem solve. On field trips they helped supervise the students as they hiked, weeded gardens and cleaned our beaches. During art projects, they supervised and were willing to get their hands covered in plaster and paint while helping the students create beautiful sculpted fish for the TABS parade.
In addition to these responsibilities, the mentors also participated in a classroom piece to this program. Each mentor took a career assessment and based on the generated career cluster chose a career path to research extensively. They learned what post-secondary education was required for their chosen career as well as the income and job expectations. They practiced searching jobs online and filling out online applications. To be sure they were ready for upcoming interviews; the mentors drilled each other weekly with “mock interview” questions. The mentors recorded their experiences in the program via a weekly journal.
Once the mentors received their first paycheck from ASD, they were required to create a budget using a spreadsheet that would help them plan specifically how their money was being saved and spent. Lastly, the mentors composed professional cover letters and resumes based on their current education, experience and skills.
The mentors went above and beyond our expectations. We are so proud of the work they performed during summer school. These four mentors shined as outstanding employees of ASD!
When asked in one of their journal questions “How would you share with an unmotivated friend/peer the value of being employed” Tatyana wrote: “I would tell an unmotivated friend/peer my experience as an employee and my accomplishments. I could share how important it is to be financially stable or have goals to accomplish. I could help this person take their interests/skills and find ways that person could use those interests and skills in a career. This person will have to find their own motivation to succeed (e.g. financials reasons personal reasons etc.)”.