Did you know that students who meet with a mentor regularly are more likely to make better choices in school and life? In fact, students who meet regularly with their mentors are 37% less likely than their peers to skip a class and 52% less likely to skip a day of school.
The “Sohotra Squad” is a new mentoring program at Hudson Junior High with our School Resource Officer, Deputy Sohotra. Students in the Sohotra Squad meet at least twice a week with Deputy Sohotra and Associate Principal Sabbatino to set and maintain behavioral goals.
The structure of the Sohotra Squad is based on restorative practices, which means the mentors proactively build relationships and a sense of community to prevent conflict and negative behavior. The goals of this community building include conflict resolution, healing, decision making, problem solving, information sharing, relationship development and other support.
Alwyn Lewis, a student in the Sohotra Squad, said he loves the mentoring group because Deputy Sohotra and Ms. Sabbatino help him set goals to be better and they revisit those goals with him every week so he stays on track. Tom Giosa, a Music teacher at the JHS, also serves as a mentor when time allows along with Deputy Sohotra and Ms. Sabbatino.
They also run community circles to discuss their goals and challenges as a group. This gives students an opportunity to tell their stories and share their own perspectives without judgment.
Student David Hinkein said the best thing about the Sohotra Squad is that he feels like he always has someone to go to who will listen.
Quality mentoring programs like the Sohotra Squad can help inspire student interest in education and attending school regularly. The Sohotra Squad holds mentoring meetings regularly, aiming to meet at least twice a week (typically during study halls or lunches). Deputy Sohotra also holds mentoring activities during the summer.
Here are some facts about mentoring from Attendance Works:
- Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school.
- Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 37% less likely than their peers to skip a class.
- Students at-risk for not graduating were 36% more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college if they had a mentor.
- Youth who had a mentor growing up are 55% more likely to later be enrolled in college.