The nonprofit organization Mentor Tutor Connection has seen growth in recent years as more students show an interest in having a mentor.
The MVHS chapter currently mentors 32 students, with one student per mentor. However, 12 more students interested in the program are on a waitlist awaiting mentors.
Most students learn about the program through presentations in their AVID classes.
Senior Andrea Halsted said that she and her friends enjoy talking to a more-experienced adult with whom they have much in common. “It’s an outlet for you to talk to someone that’s more mature,” she said.
Halsted’s most memorable moments with her mentor range from touring colleges and exploring different cafés and restaurants around town, to just talking about what’s going on in both of their lives.
Elizabeth Maciag, coordinator of the MVHS Mentor Tutor Connection program, said she wishes the program had more mentors to support more students. According to Maciag, the program tries to maintain a balance between the numbers of students and mentors, which often means holding back on their presentations to students to avoid a large number being waitlisted.
“I personally believe that every teen and young adult can benefit from having a mentor, so the more mentors we have, the more students we can match more quickly,” Maciag said.
Maciag attributes the shortage of mentors to the impression that mentorship requires a great deal of effort, but she explained that, after the training and certification processes, mentors only need to meet up with their mentee up to once a week for around two hours.
Maciag reaches out to mentors through Principal David Grissom’s email newsletter, the Mountain View Voice, and organizations such as the YMCA.
“The people who are mentors really love it, and feel like they get as much out of it as the students do,” Maciag said.
Maciag, like Halsted, said she believes that the program is an opportunity for an adult to help a student overcome high-school obstacles. “They can feel relaxed talking to their mentor about whatever’s on their mind without fear of judgement, so it’s really nice and comfortable,” Maciag said. “It’s an adult friend who has a whole life of experiences to share with the high school student.”