JAR is a proud supporter of NYC Outward Bound Schools. This school year, we helped launch the NYC Outward Bound Schools Crew Mentors pilot program, which trains NYC Outward Bound Schools alumni to support their younger peers just starting college in NYC.
The pilot began with two “Crews” of students, each led by one alum. One Crew was led by Laiba (pictured on left), who supported a group of students who had graduated from the high school she attended, Leaders, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The other Crew was led by Jharol (right) and comprised students who attend CUNY City Tech, a two-year school Jharol attended before he transferred to Queens College.
Throughout the year Jharol and Laiba helped their mentees – most of whom are the first in their family to attend college – navigate the challenges they faced in their first year of college through text messages, over the phone, and in person. In all, 48 students were supported in this pilot stage of the program.
In one particular case, Jharol helped a mentee who had two separate financial aid “holds” that were preventing him from registering for classes; the student felt ready to give up. Jharol met with the student, helped him make phone calls, and eventually went with him to two different campus offices to resolve paperwork issues. With Jharol’s help, the student was eventually able to register for classes before the deadline, afterward reporting to NYC Outward Bound Schools’ Alumni Manager, “I could not have done this without Jharol.”
With the first school year of the program almost over – and with the success of the first stage of the roll-out–NYC Outward Bound Schools is doubling the Crew Mentor program this coming school year! Two more outstanding young people have been recruited and hired to lead two new Crews of student mentees.
Nelly, pictured above far left, is a graduate of WHEELS, a NYC Outward Bound School in Washington Heights, and will support students at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), where she is a student. Bielka, pictured at far right, attends Kingsborough Community College, and will support graduates from her alma mater Kurt Hahn, a NYC Outward Bound School in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, who are attending various colleges throughout the city. Training is underway and Crew Mentors have already made connections with many of their new mentees. With Nelly and Bielka on board, the program aims to support over 100 students beginning college this fall.
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