SOAR Mentoring Initiative
Support, Orientation, and Advising for Retention of Boys Hope Girls Hope Collegians
Advise and support a Boys Hope Girls Hope collegian through college and beyond.
Boys Hope Girls Hope’s SOAR (Support, Orientation, and Advising for Retention) Mentoring Initiative connects current collegians with mentors who are part of the Boys Hope Girls Hope alumni community.
SOAR mentors commit to providing ongoing support for an individual or small cohort of current collegians. SOAR mentors offer support, guidance, and encouragement as collegians navigate their way through college and beyond. Mentors assist collegians with goal-setting, offer college and career advice, and serve as an advocate for the well-being of their mentee. The shared experience of being part of the Boys Hope Girls Hope family is a unique and invaluable aspect of the SOAR mentoring relationship.
WHY COLLEGIAN MENTORING MATTERS
Nationally, only around 70% of first-year college students return to college during their subsequent second year. This number is significantly lower for students of marginalized backgrounds; low-income, first-generation college students are almost four times more likely to not return for a second year than their peers without these risk factors (Engle and Tinto 2008).
Positive social support is commonly cited as one of the key strategies to increasing college success. According to the National College Access Network, positive social support leads to increased academic efficacy, satisfaction with college, and sense of belonging on campus. In turn, these factors contribute to students’ overall college success and persistence to graduation.
THE GOAL OF THE SOAR INITIATIVE
Boys Hope Girls Hope offers support to collegians through various methods, including financial assistance (direct scholarships, connections to partners’ scholarships), academic support (academic success plans), and social/emotional support (monthly check ins, collegian success plans, etc.). Though these efforts offer invaluable support to collegians, the increased attention from mentors will help ensure scholars not only matriculate into college, but also persist to graduation. The SOAR (Support, Orientation, and Advising for Retention) Initiative matches collegians with alumni who have graduated college.
Boys Hope Girls Hope is seeking alumni mentors from all career fields and professional backgrounds. Requirements for SOAR mentors include:
- College graduate
- Alumni of a Boys Hope Girls Hope affiliate
- 21 years or older
- Able to commit to at least one year
- Caring individual willing to support current Boys Hope Girls Hope collegians
Please contact James Williams, Boys Hope Girls Hope Director of Postsecondary Success and Strategic Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Volunteers should fill out the mentoring interest form to begin the application process. Complete the form below to let us know you're interested in becoming a SOAR mentor.
Ready to begin? Click below!
After reviewing your interest form and verifying your participation with your former affiliate, we may contact you for a phone interview. Getting to know you better will help us make the best match possible for you and your potential mentee!
Based on your phone interview, you may be invited to complete the full SOAR mentor application. This application includes degree verification, background and reference checks. Safety of our collegians is our highest priority!
The Boys Hope Girls Hope team will provide training for selected SOAR mentors. SOAR mentor orientation will cover topics such as relationship-building techniques and the process of documenting mentor/mentee check ins and interactions.
Mentors will be matched with mentees based on a variety of factors, including career path, affiliate, etc. The Boys Hope Girls Hope team will facilitate the introduction process between the pair. Once the mentorship begins, the team will offer ongoing support and professional development for mentors.