School Based Mentoring Helps Youth Succeed in School and Beyond

By: Carlos Garcia, via The SF Examiner

Mentors, backed by quality mentoring programs, play a powerful role in preventing substance abuse and youth violence, as well as boosting academic achievement and workforce readiness. In several San Francisco public schools, mentors are working with at-risk youth through a school district program called Mentoring for Success.

Mentoring for Success began matching individual students with adult mentors seven years ago. Since then the program has expanded to 36 schools serving 600 students. Over the past seven years 2,000 students have gained guidance and support from caring adults at school; eighty-six percent of mentored students say their mentors help them do better in school. 

Project Arrive, one of Mentoring for Success’ newest programs, just began working in Thurgood Marshall, John O’Connell, Galileo, and Mission High Schools this fall. It provides group mentoring for ninth graders, with a history of poor attendance flagged by SFUSD’s Early Warning Indicator (EWI) system. Since being in the program students with Project Arrive mentors at Mission High have begun outperforming their cohorts at other schools.

 “It’s giving us a way to help keep struggling students from falling through the cracks. It’s really been the right thing for our school,” says Mission High’s principal Eric Guthertz who is also taking part as a mentor.

Become a Mentor

Mentoring for Success encourages structured, consistent and purposeful relationships between a young person and a caring adult who provides acceptance, support, encouragement, guidance and concrete assistance to promote healthy youth development and student success.

January is National Mentoring Month and SFUSD's Mentoring for Success program is recruiting new mentors. Read more about being a mentor for Mentoring for Success at

For information about other mentoring opportunities near you go to