Near Peer Mentors (NPMs)
Integrating the resources, skills and insights of families, educators and mentors is key to creating an academic environment where students thrive, have the tools and skills to succeed, and aspire to higher education and careers. To take action on that vision, the Near Peer Mentor Program places teams of college-attending mentors, recruited from the local community, with partner teachers to provide mentoring services in the classroom. We call them College Advocate Mentors (CAMs).
****95% of GEAR UP's 2019-2020 CAMs are local college students of color.****
What do NPMs do in the classroom? NPMs are paired with teacher partners to enrich the classroom environment and engage students by sharing their own voice and lived experience, model behaviors and attitudes conducive to academic success, provide college and career exposure activities, and help students develop a strong, positive college-going identity.
How are NPMs supported by GEAR UP? TOSAs and School College Coordinators support the NPMs through close supervision, quality coaching and organizing professional development retreats and training sessions throughout the mentors' term of service.
NPMS IN THE CLASSROOM MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Attendance data (ADA) show that multi-racial students in CAM-supported classrooms with GEAR UP teacher partners attended 18 more days of school during the 2018-2019 school year than those not in CAM-supported classrooms (the difference is statistically significant).
"I've noticed students of color for sure [attend more], and I feel that's mainly attributed to the fact that most of our CAMs are CAMs of color. So there's that, 'Oh shoot, you look like me. You've probably gone through similar experiences as me.' There's a way that preestablishes connection already and you just build off that." ---First-Generation, Male CAM of Color