“More than 97 percent of these students lived in poverty, 70 percent had reported family histories of alcohol abuse and 56 percent had reported family histories of drug abuse. According to a survey of teachers whose students were enrolled in the program: “71 percent saw an improvement in self-confidence, 64 percent in a sense of belonging to the school, 63 percent in class participation, 63 percent in relationships with peers and 51 percent in academic performance.” The program is still seeking out mentors, hoping to continue services after Community Connectors expires.”
Image credit: Wasan Tita
Civil Society Series: Ohio’s Community Connectors Program
- 1) While the education community have started to place more emphasis on standardized test scores and graduation rates, it has failed to provide the mentorship and guidance our youth truly need to identify and pursue their education, career, and personal goals.
- 2) State-level programs like Community Connectors show how state governments can empower, not enforce, local initiatives to build community through mentorship programs, which will bring about strong communities and new pathways for civic engagement.
- 3) We should continue to encourage partnership between local school districts, nonprofits, and businesses with grants that help jumpstart programs and other initiatives that could greatly impact civil-society activity.