Temple Student Government began its high school mentorship program last week. It will run through the rest of the semester.
TSG is collaborating with the Advocate Center, a North Philadelphia culture and education organization, to get high school students to participate in the program.
The Advocate Center sent applications out to area high schools, including George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science and Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High School.
TSG is piloting the program with eight high school student and trained eight college mentors. It hopes to recruit more.
The program connects Temple students with high school students to help them apply to college and prepare for university life by teaching them organization and budgeting skills. Mentors will also take students on tours of Main Campus.
“We want [the high school students] to have the eggshell cracked,” said Leonard Chester, TSG’s director of local and community affairs. “We want them to know what they’re getting into.”
“We want to help young people look outside the box,” said Adia Harmon, the executive director of the Advocate Center. “We want them to see that they are strong enough, smart enough, articulate enough to be able to go to college and succeed there.”
The current TSG administration will change at the end of this semester, but Chester said he hopes future administrations will continue the program. Harmon said the Advocate Center will collaborate with TSG on this program as long as it can.
“In years to come, in our partnership, we’d like to grow and be able to provide access to more students,” Harmon said.
“We look for people who are leaders,” Chester said. “We want juniors and seniors who will provide experiences and stories that will help improve the freshman experience.”
Joshua Dicker, a mentor and junior sports and recreation management major, said he is excited to learn from his mentee, as well as prepare the student to avoid the issues he encountered when he was younger. Dicker said he will encourage his mentee to take advantage of AP courses while in high school and to balance time between clubs, social events and schoolwork.
“Being a mentor, you have to be able to listen and really be a guiding light,” he added.
The program follows Activate TU’s platform to “continue to engage young minds in the community through access and exposure to Temple University.” This is an extension of the annual Pathway to Temple event TSG implemented last spring, which will be held next month and invites about 65 area high schoolers to visit the university.
“It’s so crucial to have a mentor in high school,” Chester said. “It’s important to have that big brother or big sister who will take interest in you and will help you not make the same mistakes they made.”
Editor’s Note: Joshua Dicker has taken photos for The Temple News. He had no part in the reporting or editing of this story.