For the Early College High School senior class of 2013, they will graduate knowing they’ve helped prompt the senior class of 2016 for future achievement.
ECHS has started a mentoring program this year, which pairs seniors with first year high school students. The program was started to give all incoming freshmen a strong support system during their transition into high school, said Angel Paxton, principal at ECHS.
“We want to help guide them during the time we are here,” said Christopher Martinez, senior at ECHS. “Students can make mistakes their first year. We want to give them advice, because this is an important time when colleges start looking at them.”
Freshmen aren’t the only ones who benefit from the program; the participating seniors gain experience in organization. They keep a senior mentor binder, and have monthly meetings with the seven or eight students they mentor, said Elexis Chapa, senior at ECHS.
During their meetings, the mentors review the freshmen’s progress reports, provide tutoring and take them four times a year to Texas State Technical College (TSTC) for lunch in a college setting.
If the mentors have any concerns with the progress of their students, they have the ability to report them to administration or submit recommendations for academic advancement.
The response from the students involved has been enthusiastic, Paxton said. The seniors can regularly be seen organizing events for their next meeting, and freshmen searching the halls for their mentors.
“The mentors have really helped me out this year,” said Alicia Chapa, freshman at ECHS. “I’ve benefitted from being in the program, and I hope they continue doing it. I want to become a mentor when I’m a senior to help someone like they have helped me.”