Founded in 2004, Minds Matter of Denver connects underprivileged metro Denver students with adult mentors, who provide assistance with academic development, SAT preparation and the college application process; including school selection, essay writing, and interview skills. At present the Minds Matter of Denver Prep Program works with 10th and 11th grade students in selecting and applying to summer college programs, where they can bolster their academic record by taking college credit courses and experience campus life. In the fall of 2006 we began our first Senior Program to assist high school seniors with the entire college application process, including school selection, essay writing, and financial aid paperwork.
Each student is grouped with 2 adult mentors who typically have complimentary interests and personalities with each other as well as the student. Mentoring groups meet once a week during the school year, for 2-3 hours at a single location, where Minds Matter volunteers can supervise a structured session for all students and mentors.
Mentors not only guide students through the application process, but also provide a deep level of commitment and encouragement. Mentors work with students for at least one full academic year and typically through the student’s high school graduation. In this time, the students often develop close bonds with their mentors and readily seek their guidance and friendship. Yet, students are not the only ones who benefit from the Minds Matter program. Our mentors also find relationship building with both the mentees and with other volunteers a satisfying and rewarding experience.
Jamie started as a Mentor in this program several years ago. What a wonderful way to make a difference.