The Rotary Club of Hermann Park, which believes that every student should have a mentor, is launching the Every Student Mentoring Program. The program aims to provide a mentor to all students within the Jack Yates High School feeder pattern. Students With Ambition Go (SWAG) to College is a nonprofit organization that aims to pair youth with mentors of similar backgrounds, attempting to provide opportunities for every student. Through this partnership, SWAG to College will provide a mentor to 50 current Yates High School students, hoping to, as the years pass, provide every student in the school with a mentor who will guide them with the college application process to achieve the students’ goals.
SWAG to College’s responsibilities will be to oversee the Jack Yates High School mentorship program by pairing students, providing mentors, and planning and executing the Kick-Off event at the start of the year. Additionally, Jalesha Bass, who was a SWAG to College mentee and recently graduated fifth in her class at Jack Yates High School, will be serving as the SWAG to College and Jack Yates High School Liaison, recruiting mentees from the school and mentors from African American student groups in Houston-area universities, as well as supporting and monitoring all mentorships. Jamal Dawson, co-Founder of SWAG to College, says, “I'm excited that we are able to be working with another Houston organization that is as equally determined to see our disadvantaged youth succeed.” Ted Weisgal, the President of The Rotary Club of Hermann Park, is confident that SWAG to College will continue the good work and commitment to students as they [The Rotary Club of Hermann Park] continue to build the Every Student Mentoring Program in the Yates feeder pattern. Additionally, he states, “The formal [Memorandum of Understanding] formalizes our relationship and underscores the importance of the work being done at Jack Yates as we pursue the growth of a program supported by Rotary International that has no limits.”
This is the start of partnerships that SWAG to College hopes to continue creating to be able to provide support to as many students as possible in hopes of providing access to higher education.
-- Karen Banda