The Project MALES Student Mentoring Program is off to a great start in the 2018-19 academic year. AY 2018-19 marks the eighth year that Project MALES is partnering with the Austin Independent School District (AISD). We currently serve the following AISD middle schools: Webb Early College Prep, Martin Middle School, Mendez Middle School, Burnet Middle School, and Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy. In addition, we serve at the following AISD high schools: Travis Early College High School (ECHS), Lanier High School, Reagan ECHS, Eastside Memorial ECHS, and Lyndon B. Johnson ECHS in Austin ISD.
This year we have expanded our mentoring services to three middle schools in the Del Valle Independent School District: Ojeda Middle School, Dailey Middle School, and Del Valle Middle School. Our curriculum focuses on the themes of Brotherhood, Leadership, College and Career Readiness, Health and Wellness, and Identity. All of our program activities center on these five pillars to anchor our mentoring initiatives with boys and men of color.
Our Mentoring Site Coordinators – Alicia Moreno, Danielle Marie Zaragoza, Edgar Fidel Lopez, Allanah Manzanares, and Victor Martin – are each assigned three sites to lead along with a team of UT undergraduate student mentors whom conduct our weekly mentoring sessions. Our UT undergraduate student mentors are trained in a two credit service-learning course concurrent with placement in a school site. In the next few weeks, we will spotlight our schools and the PM team who lead our group and one-on-one mentoring activities at each site. This week we are spotlighting Allanah and Edgar!
School Sites: Ojeda Middle School, Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy (YMLA), and Lyndon B. Johnson ECHS
Mentors at Ojeda M.S.: Jason Flores, Christian Hernandez, Alec Mireles-Morales, Robert Rodriguez, Israel Vasquez.
Mentors at Gus Garcia YMLA: Fidel Aguilar, Melanie Aleman, Carlos Diaz, Samantha Enriquez, Jeremy Flores, Abigail Gonzales, Alec Rodriguez, Isaiah Zaragoza.
Mentors at Lyndon B. Johnson ECHS: Daniel Garza, Christian Hernandez, Chris Herrera, Isaac Mendoza-Ibarra, Robert Rodriguez, Itssel Sanchez, Rodrigo Vivar.
Quote from Allanah: “Each week of working with our mentees gets better and better. It is an amazing experience to get to do fun activities while providing a constant presence in the mentee’s lives. They are all different and interesting, and I look forward to seeing them all each week.”
Quote from Mentee: “Everyone needs to be quiet and listen, they’re trynna mentor!”
School Sites: Webb Middle School, Mendez Middle School, and Eastside Memorial High School
Mentors at Webb M.S.: Daniel Garza, Hilda Torres, Isaac Mendoza, Kathy Estrella, Loveless Gatewood, Mataeo Campbell, Victoria Garcia.
Mentors at Mendez M.S.: Melanie Aleman, Vincent Ascencio, Hirwa Dior Cyitatire, Carlos Diaz, Samantha Enriquez, Naomi Franco, Abigail Gonzalez, Jessica Trejo, Isaiah Zaragoza.
Mentors at Eastside Memorial ECHS: Christopher Herrera, Gedeon Kossia, Brian Martinez-Cruz, Azalia Perez, Robert Rodriguez.
Quote from Edgar: “I continue to mentor students from the inner-city community and disadvantaged background because I grew up in a similar lifestyle. I rose from poverty, gang violence, and other educational barriers. Many of the Project MALES mentees remind me so much of myself at their age. Though the impact may not be seen right away, these students appreciate the consistency, hospitality and welcoming space we provide each week. I am glad to be a positive, influential role model for these young men of color and for the undergraduate students.”
Quote from Mentee: “I want to go to college to be successful and make my mom proud of me.”