Baton Rouge Youth Coalition seeks mentors for area high school students

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition seeks mentors for area high school students

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition is looking for a few good mentors. More than 100 of them, to be precise.

The free program, which helps lower-income students of color attain success in high school and continue it though college, is expecting its largest class since it began in 2009. There will be 382 fellows, and the program has secured about one-third of the 195 mentors it needs, said Elin Hawkinson, associate director of communications and development.

The mentors aren’t asked to be tutors, but to support the students and help them acquire other skills and knowledge.

“We don’t need our mentors to have any strong subject matter expertise,” Hawkinson said. “They do not need to prepare anything. If they can commit, show up for their fellows, that’s all we ask. We’ll provide the rest.”






Sarah Ferstel, left, works with Baton Rouge Youth Coalition fellow Brittany Williams in a previous year of BRYC’s annual mentorship program. Williams, a 2020 graduate of Baton Rouge Magnet High School, now studies chemical engineering at LSU.




Mentors will be assigned among three groups. Those supporting ninth and 10th graders will help two to four fellows master study skills. Those assigned to 11th graders will help two to four fellows master ACT content and develop test-taking strategies. Other mentors will work one-on-one helping 12th graders with college applications, financial aid and choosing the college that’s right for them.

The four-hour training program for mentors is Saturday, Aug. 27, and the program begins the following week. Mentors can choose to work with students from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and those working with 12th graders can choose a 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. time slot.

“The biggest attribute that we’re looking for is consistency,” Hawkinson said. “We do ask that mentors show up every week during the school year for 75 minutes. It can seem like a big commitment, but that’s the biggest thing. If they can make that commitment, we’ll provide the rest.”

Mentors must be 18 or older. Those interested in volunteering can do so at thebryc.org/volunteer.

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