• SMART Near Peer Mentor Program (CAMs)

    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 SMART Near Peer Mentor Program places teams of college-attending mentors, recruited from the local community, with GEAR UP 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 CAMs do in the classroom?  CAMs 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 CAMs supported by GEAR UP?  TOSAs and School Coordinators support the CAMs through close supervision, quality coaching and organizing professional development retreats and training sessions throughout the CAM's term of service.

    CAMs serve in the following schools (2019-2020 academic year):

    • Roosevelt High School (11th/12th); Astor, Cesar Chavez, George (7th/8th)
    • Jefferson High School (11th/12th); Faubion, Ockley Green, Tubman, Vernon (7th/8th)
    • Madison High School (11th/12th); Harrison Park, Roseway Heights (7th/8th)



    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 


    GEAR UP Mentors

SMART Contacts

Jennie Cha
Student Success Advocate
Jefferson, Madison, Roosevelt Cluster Middle Schools
Jessaca Willis
Student Success Advocate
Roosevelt High School
Katie Clark
Student Success Advocate
Madison High School
Margarett Peoples
TOSA, Madison Cluster
Regina Stanton
Student Success Advocate
Jefferson High School
Steve Smith
TOSA, Roosevelt Cluster
Carissa Kerrissey
Jefferson High School