Mentorship program aims to ease transition from high school to college

Going from high school to college is so daunting, many students just don't show up, but one mentorship program is helping students keep their academic dreams alive.

Video Transcript

- Going from high school to college is so daunting, many students just don't show up. Our Jovana Lara takes a look at one solution that's helping students keep their academic dreams alive.

HAYLEE GUERRA: I would have been way more lost IF she wasn't there to help me out.

JOVANA LARA: Haylee Guerra was anxious about attending college. The [INAUDIBLE] freshman says not only was it virtual, but she was the first in her family to attend a university and she didn't know what to expect.

HAYLEE GUERRA: What really made a difference is that Liz helped me with how to enroll into my classes.

JOVANA LARA: Liz is Haylee's mentor at [? SeaSun. ?]

I see a lot of growth.

JOVANA LARA: And the person Haley credits for making her freshman year less intimidating and more rewarding.

HAYLEE GUERRA: It was the most you know, greatest thing that could have ever happened to me because I got so much support and comfort from her. She always had the answers for me.

JOVANA LARA: Haylee and Liz connected his first time mentor and mentee through the Alliance mentorship program called AMP. Offered at Alliance Margaret M. Bloomfield High School in Huntington Park, where they both attended. 18 LA high schools are part of the alliance college ready public schools. The mentorship program offered at all 18 campuses is now in its ninth year.

ESAU MOLINA: The Alliance Mentorship Program is an opportunity for students to engage in supporting one another.

JOVANA LARA: The six month peer to peer program pairs high school seniors with mentors who are established college students to ensure students who get accepted to college actually go. According to Harvard University's Center for Education Policy Research, as many as 40% of low-income minority students that gain acceptance to college don't show up the first day of class. It's a phenomenon called the summer melt. Traditionally, referring to students who changed their minds about the college they chose to attend. But in this case, it refers to students from low income homes who, without access to Wi-Fi and other resources, find the enrollment process so overwhelming they put it off and oftentimes choose a job over college.

ESAU MOLINA: We make sure that we support them, we guide them through the process so that they can show up to class on day one, ready to complete their academic journey.

JOVANA LARA: And Molina says it's working. A recent impact report shows a 95% matriculation rate among AMP mentees in 2020 compared to 88% for those not enrolled in AMP. And the trend remained consistent for the last four years.

LIZBETH BAUTISTA: Just being able to see your mentee succeed is probably the best thing you'll ever see.