The Project MALES Student Mentoring Program completed its fall 2017 semester with some new additions and changes to our program. This year we kicked off our mentoring partnerships with Burnet Middle School and Eastside Memorial High School as two of our new mentoring sites, within the AISD. Additionally, this semester we expanded our mentoring services to Manor Middle School, in the Manor Independent School District (MISD) and to KIPP Austin Brave High School, in the KIPP Austin Public Schools system. Our curriculum was redesigned over the summer to focus on the themes of Brotherhood, Leadership, College and Career Readiness, and Health and Wellness, so all mentoring instruction and activities centered on these pillars that now anchor all our Project MALES initiatives with boys and men of color.
Our mentoring activities ended with our end of semester celebrations honoring our young men for their weekly participation at each of our sites. UT student mentors and mentees had an opportunity to reflect on the semester mentoring activities. In addition, we met with our AISD, MISD, and KIPP, administrators and staff to discuss highlights and challenges in order to continually build and improves on our mentoring activities for the semester and to plan for the spring semester. This semester our service-learning course enrolled over 40 students, this is the most students we have enrolled since we launched our course in the fall 2014.
We concluded the semester with our student mentor’s final presentations. Students presented on the school-to-prison pipeline, familial support, and affirmative action, amongst other topics. Finally, we had our end of semester celebration where we recognized our Project MALES mentors for their time and dedication throughout the semester.
We are looking forward to a great spring semester. Our mentoring activities will resume on January 15th MLK day with our Project MALES mentoring retreat where we will convene all returning mentors for workshops and planning activities for the coming spring semester. Stay tuned in late January for highlights from our retreat and for more information about other planned activities for the spring semester.