2018 - 2019 Mentoring and College/Success Readiness Program
My Words, Strong Words
SERVICES AVAILABLE

PROJECT COMPLETION
Students participate in the My Words,
Strong Words writing project.

ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE
Students receive academic
enhancement and assistance through
one on one and web based strategies
via the ETL Virtual University Initiative

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Students participate in leadership and
personal development discussions and
seminars and one on one mentoring.

RECREATION
Students participate in a variety of
incentive based recreation activities.

...AND MORE
Our youth Mentoring and
College/Success Readiness
Program is designed to
emphasize academic,
leadership and personal
development, as well as
community service.  The
program includes bi-monthly
meetings that provide
development seminars and
group discussions, homework
and academic assistance
through one on one and
web-based activities, project
completion activities, one on
one mentoring, community
service, and incentive based
recreation activities.
The program partners with
Milton L. Olive Middle School
in Wyandanch New York;
responsible for selecting
students and assisting in the
development and monitoring of
program effectiveness
indicators.  The program is
geared toward seventh and
eighth grade male students
with the intention of following
and serving as many members
of the cohort as possible
through high school and
beyond.  


The 2018 – 2019 Mentoring and College/Success Readiness Program, co-sponsored with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,
Inc.--Eta Theta Lambda Chapter, is designed to emphasize academic, leadership and personal development, as well as
community service.  The program consists of bi-monthly meetings that include development seminars and group
discussions, learning styles and preferences counseling, career exploration, homework and academic assistance
through one on one and web-based activities, project completion activities, one on one mentoring, community service,
and incentive based recreation activities.  

The program partners with a selected middle school or group of middle schools responsible for selecting students and
assisting in the development and monitoring of program effectiveness indicators.  The program is geared toward
seventh and eighth grade male students with the intention of following and serving as many members of the cohort as
possible through high school and beyond.  The program is anchored by the
My Words, Strong Words Project.

Project Mission
The mission of the My Words, Strong Words Project is to introduce youth participants to the strength and power
resident in their own written words.  Inspired by Jason Reynolds' free verse novel Long Way Down, this project
encourages participants to write a collection of free verse pieces describing their environment, feelings, and thoughts.  
The free verse format is chosen for its lack of rules of rhythm, rhyme, or syntax, allowing participants to emphasize their
words.  The project includes a reading and discussion of a Long Way Down as an example of effective writing.  

Project Description
The My Words, Strong Words Project culminates with the production of a soft cover book containing a collection of
selected participant writings.  The students serve as editors, designers, and promoters of the text.  Time is set aside
during each session to complete a specific task related to project completion.  Once completed, the text will be
professionally reproduced and presented to school peers, administrators, district officials, and community leaders
during a celebratory public program.  

Time is set aside at each Mentoring and College/Success Readiness Program session to complete a specific task
related to project completion.  Completion tasks are carefully correlated with the school English language arts and
mathematics curricula.  Students are therefore able to translate classroom learning into real world experiences that
ultimately solve problems and provide service to others.  Participants help develop a timetable for completion,
participate in the drafting process, develop promotional material, complete inter-session assignments and essentially
exhibit responsible collaborative and cooperative behaviors as collective project completion is achieved.  

Other Components of the Mentoring and College/Success Readiness Program

Homework Helper and Academic Support
The Homework Helper and Academic Support portion of the program is designed to assist students with homework,
study skills, test preparation, etc.  This is accomplished through the use of web based conferencing technology, via the
ETL Education Foundation Virtual University Initiative.  Web-based strategies include access to online real time
assistance (i.e. Monday Math Nights) and asynchronous learning modules.   All students complete a learning styles and
preferences survey with counseling from learning experts provided to students and parents.  Also a portion of the
regular bi monthly meeting is dedicated to some aspect of academic development. One on one mentors assist students
individually with assignments and academic subject matters as feasible.

Personal Development Discussions, Seminars, and Activities
The program also includes a series of age appropriate personal development workshops that include topics such as
health and hygiene, human sexuality, police interaction, historical/social/cultural awareness, etc. Once again the use of
resources available through the Virtual University Initiative (VUI) combined with “in-house” discussions best facilitate this
aspect of the program.

Leadership Development Discussions, Seminars, and Activities
The program also includes leadership training and development. Discussions about why leaders are necessary,
defining leadership, enumerating leadership qualities and other aspects of leadership are incorporated into the
program. Once again a combination of VUI strategies, one on one mentoring and group activities drive this aspect of the
program.

One on One Mentoring
Youth participants are assigned an adult mentor.  The purpose of the mentoring relationship is to establish a more
personal contact and nurturing relationship. Mentoring relationships are individual and develop at individual paces. The
program provides mentors with appropriate support.  

Community Service
Part of the personal and leadership development aspects of the program includes the facilitation of the importance of
using one’s skills, talents, and advantages in community service. Regular discussions about how students may use their
particular skills, talents, and expertise to help their peers, community, and school occur during “in-house” and web
based activities. Further, the
My Words, Strong Words Project provides significant opportunity to achieve an important
community service goal as students present their work to the school library and serve as role models to peers.  

Recreation Incentive
The program also includes a series of recreational activities. However these activities are based upon the achievement
of goals, group participation/attendance records, and other indicators.  The program recognizes that recreational
activities are important aspects of any youth program.  However such activities should be linked to the accomplishment
of goals and have a celebratory nature.

Program Schedule and Final Words
As previously stated, the 2018 – 2019 Mentoring and College/Success Readiness Program consists of a series of bi-
monthly (
project schedule) meetings reinforced by one on one mentoring as well as web-based activities facilitated
through the ETL Education Foundation Virtual University Initiative.  The bi-monthly meetings are carefully planned in
advance.  Community leaders, educators, and other professionals participate as facilitators and role models at each
session.  

Eta Theta Lambda Chapter and the ETL Education Foundation have experienced past success in similar programs
including but not limited to our Kwanzaa Cadet Program, Getting To Know Our Teachers Project, College Success
Workshop Series, and the Post College Tour Mentoring Program. The 2018-2019  program is a continuation of
programs of excellence with the singular goal to serve community youth so that their full potential may be reached.