This month, in recognition of National Mentoring Month, After8toEducate is partnering with AT&T to launch an inaugural mentoring program at a Dallas ISD high school. This program meets monthly at Woodrow Wilson High School with students who are involved in the DECA program. DECA’s high school programs prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for college and careers.
Mentoring can make a measurable difference in the life of a young person. A 2014 report revealed that young people facing opportunity gaps are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college when they have a mentor compared to those without a mentoring relationship. Youth with mentors are also 81% more likely to participate in an extracurricular activity compared to those without a mentor.
During this first session at Woodrow, students and mentors got to know each other and heard from guest speaker Charmaine Williams. Charmaine, who serves on the board of directors for After8toEducate and works as a program manager at AT&T, encouraged students and shared her personal success story. She invited the students to reflect and understand that how they see themselves is much more important than any definition another person may put on them.
“My hope is this program will enrich the lives of our Dallas youth, encourage them to stay in school and continue their education beyond high school,” said Sandra Lester, community champion for After8toEducate through AT&T’s Believe Dallas initiative. “I’m looking forward to it continuing for years to come and expanding to more DISD schools.”
After8toEducate exists to improve life outcomes for young people in the Dallas community. After8 collaborates with public and private entities to offer students support services and help youth stay connected to education. Dallas Independent School District is one of our partners in this effort, among many others. Dallas ISD has contributed a formerly vacant elementary school to become a resource to students facing housing instability. Learn more about the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center and the services offered here.
“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with AT&T by bringing this program to local high school students,” said Billy Lane, After8toEducate Interim Executive Director.
A special thank you to AT&T’s Sandra Lester and Dallas ISD educator Collin Kuehn for coordinating this program.