Are you ready to support students and families in our community?
We Currently Match Students (K-8th) at These Locations:
Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS)
Godfrey-Lee Public Schools (GLPS)
- Early Childhood Center (ECC)
- Godfrey Elementary [New 2021]
- Lee Middle School [New 2021]
Affinity Mentoring’s mission is to facilitate equitable growth in academics, social emotional skills, and self-esteem through mutually beneficial mentoring relationships. We believe in cultivating a brave space that amplifies the voices of young agents of change in a diverse and inclusive community.
We provide individual, one hour per week mentoring with trained, safe, supportive adults to support the growth of leadership and social-emotional skills, as well as math and literacy skills. Learn more in our Interactive Digital Packet.
What Affinity Mentoring Offers
We regularly say that every youth needs 5-7 safe adults they can talk to and trust for healthy development and growth, but simply introducing a student and adult is not the same as fostering relationship building. That is why we have built a mentoring program that focuses on equity-based barrier reduction work to help address the myriad barriers that keep youth from building trusting, adult relationships.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs teaches us that we must first ensure family’s basic needs are met – which we do through partnerships, referrals and regular communication with other organizations. Next, we reduce barriers to the relationship building process such as a lack of transportation or supervision for meetings, language barriers, or even having access to spaces where students can safely meet diverse, new adults. Lastly, we focus on providing in-depth and regular training to all mentors to enhance the mentoring relationship, and work hard to recruit diverse mentors so that students can more readily see themselves reflected in healthy adults. When you invest in students and families at Affinity Mentoring, you invest in a holistic and comprehensive program that puts equity at the core.
The Importance of Social Emotional Learning
We believe that it is incredibly important for us to back up our work with clear data. We ask community members, schools, mentors, mentees, and families to engage in mentoring relationships because they actually make a difference:
- Social Emotional Learning competence shows benefits such as: improved test scores, grades, and attendance positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults (Durlak et al., 2011; Farrington et al., 2012; Sklad et al., 2012)
- SEL has been found to: improve achievement increase attitudes toward school reduce depression and stress (Durlak et al., 2011)
- Kindergartners stronger in SEL are more likely to: graduate high school earn a college degree obtain stable employment in young adulthood (Jones, Greenberg & Crowley, 2015
- In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain better attitudes toward school. Grossman, J., Herrera, C., & Dubois, D. L. (2017, April 24). The Role of Risk. MDRC. https://www.mdrc.org/publication/role-risk
- Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)
Students are not our future, they are our present. In supporting students we give them confidence, skills, and access to use their voices and platforms to make positive change in our community, schools, their families, and their lives.