Mentor Hamilton is a program specific to Hamilton School and sponsored by Novato Unified School District. The program matches Hamilton students with a caring adult from the community that comes alongside them and is a source of support and encouragement in their life. Their role is not academic. Through weekly meetings on campus, the mentors develop a caring relationship with their mentee that encourages them to be the best version of themselves. The hope is that the mentors will create a strong bond with their mentee while at Hamilton and then will stay with them through high school and into a college or career.
Students value and enjoy their mentor relationship. The program has grown substantially since its beginning in 2015. Over 150 students have been matched with a trained and screened Mentor. These mentorships meet at least once a week in the Hamilton School Mentoring Center. The program has been very successful. However, the demand for Mentors always exceeds the list of students interested in being in the program.
According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, children at risk who had a mentor were: 55% more likely to graduate from college and enroll in college; 52% less likely to skip school; 37% less likely to skip class; and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions. Youth who had a mentor also showed a better attitude towards school. Regular meetings between mentor and student saw that youth were: 46% less likely to use drugs; 27% less likely to drink; and 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
The Mentor program at Hamilton school is in its 9th year. There has been a huge shift in the student body. With over 120 students (one-fifth of the school) mentoring weekly at the height of the program, Hamilton students feel heard, loved, and more confident. They are more engaged in their studies and are trying new things.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Catherine Pace, Mentor Coordinator for Mentor Hamilton: (Cpace@nusd.org) to begin the process. You will need to fill out a Volunteer Packet which you can download below.