November 6, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Evergreen Valley College Marketing and Community Relations
Alcanzar Redefines Mentoring at Evergreen Valley College
In its traditional form, mentoring refers to older, wiser people giving advice and feedback to those less experienced. A new initiative at Evergreen Valley College, the Alcanzar Community Meetings, changes all that. Alcanzar mentors are required to model behaviors in personal growth as a way to “show” positive behavior rather than “say” it. For this innovative program, which kicks off this coming Saturday, November 10, EVC and its Enlace Program partnered with Community Partners for Youth (CCPY) to mentor 30 at-risk students, 90% of whom are Latino/Latina.
CCPY Executive Director, Jeff Bornefeld, a former corporate mentor who has dedicated his non-profit to changing the lives of at-risk teenagers, believes that “kids will only do what we do and not what we say or tell them to do. They respond to authenticity, honesty and dedication.” Alcanzar mentors, who come from high school and college and are trained by CCPY, are required to set two goals and be held accountable for accomplishing them by the end of the program year, as are their “mentees.”
On Saturday, each 8th grader from JW Fair Middle School (FMS) will be assigned to an Enlace/CCPY Step-Ahead mentor pair to create awareness of the broader community of minority students who are succeeding in their education.
Victor Garza, Jr., who is coordinating the effort at EVC, feels that “Alcanzar will help the students discover that they are capable and valuable, have a future worth working towards, and they’ll recognize the role education can play in that.”
Enlace and CCPY mentors, CCPY staff life-skills coaches, and other volunteers will provide each Alcanzar student with at least 6-8 hours per month of positive role-model contact after school, at weekend sessions and during educational and recreational outings in the surrounding area. Monthly Community Meetings at Evergreen Valley College will teach Life Skills. The program goes till May 2008.
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ABOUT Evergreen Valley College
With student learning as its primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to embrace its students, to validate, nurture and celebrate them so that they may succeed in a global, multicultural society. The College, which sits on a picturesque 175-acre site in the eastern foothills of San Jose, provides access to comprehensive and flexible post-secondary education to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives and to improve the workforce and quality of life in our community.