Become a Community Partner
By taking a student’s need for personal connection as seriously as we take reading, writing and arithmetic, schools all over the nation have seen:
- Better attendance.
- Better chances of going onto higher education.
- Better attitudes toward school.
- Better health. [Mentored students are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking.] (mentoring.org)
- Better relationships. [Both at school and at home, tending to trust their parents more and communicate better with them.]
Affinity Mentoring strives to interrupt the cycle of poverty through mentoring relationships that improve students’ academic achievements, social skills and self-esteem. Over the past 14 years, we have become one of the largest school-based mentoring programs in the country. It is the quality of our work, however, that gives us the distinction of being labeled as the “Premier” national program. Here’s how we do it:
Stronger Staff, Stronger Matches
Our staff members are highly qualified, with degrees in social work and public administration, which enables us to navigate the larger system and effectively advocate for our students. A major goal of Affinity is building strong relationships with the school administration and teachers, which makes us a critical partner that is routinely invited to work closely and proactively in at-risk students’ support teams. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth. Only 3% of Affinity matches close prematurely, compared to an approximately 50% premature closure rate among mentoring programs nationally.
Building Stronger Communities
Affinity Mentoring is also dedicated to being a support to the community as a whole. We work closely with the school staff, parents and community partners to recruit volunteers and gather resources to meet the needs of the school (i.e., coat drives, donations of school supplies, etc.). We are continually working to create a positive school environment where families feel comfortable and supported. Several annual events celebrate these relationships between parents, students, mentors and school staff. Affinity Mentoring staff are also members of the Community School Leadership Teams at Burton and SWCC, the Kent County Mentoring Collaborative and the Mentor Michigan Provider’s Council.