The GUYS Youth Mentoring Program at Gaithersburg Middle School offers a variety of activities and programs to build resilience and develop positive social skills in young males, while also improving school attendance and academic performance.
The youth development specialist monitors the grades and attendance of each student in the program, encouraging progress with both; we even hold parent conferences on an as-needed basis. We served more than 100 students in the first year of operating the program, and more than 90% of those students improved their grades and attendance throughout the year.
In addition to improving academic performance, we work to reduce negative social pressures of street gangs, peer pressure, drug and alcohol use, and bullying. Students participating in the program make connections with the youth development specialist, the mentor groups, and one another, increasing their dedication and responsibility in life, and taking pride and ownership in being part of the youth mentoring program.
The program works towards these goals by fostering relationships and engaging students in an array of activities and programs including:
- Weekly meetings and speakers
- Peer mediation and conflict resolution
- After school tutoring and mentoring
- Community service projects and fundraisers
- Free weekend activities and trips, including an end-of-year trip to Ellis Island
- Leadership training and career awareness (MCPS Game Changers Young Male Mentoring Conference)
- Advocacy training
- College tours at University of Maryland and Montgomery College