Mentoring Matters began in 2008 as a partnership between the San Antonio Mayor’s Office, mentoring organizations and businesses in late 2008 for the purpose of recruiting business people to mentor middle school students. In Spring 2009, the Mayor’s Office asked CPS Energy, in its third year of a career-based, on-site mentoring program, to lend its curriculum and materials to other companies.
The CPS Energy Connecting The Dots Job Shadowing Program (CTD) first implemented its program the Spring of 2007 when the utility paired 13 at-risk students from Edison High School in the San Antonio Independent School District with employees to encourage students to graduate from high school and enter higher education. The program sought to impact the current 40 percent drop-out rate and the growing poverty gap.
Communities in Schools-San Antonio (CIS-SA), Bexar County’s premier drop-out prevention program, and CPS Energy co-sponsor the program.
Since taking office in June 2009, Mayor Julián Castro and
his administration has worked to expand this effort to touch more
students, add more companies, enhance curriculum and provide more
support for mentors. Today ten companies are mentoring 217 students and they are supported by a collaboration between Big Brothers Big Sisters and CIS.
Participating businesses and their respective schools include: CPS Energy at Edison High School and Wheatley Middle School (SAISD), South San High School (South San) and Kennedy High School (Edgewood ISD); Rackspace at Roosevelt High School (NEISD); SAWS at Memorial High Middle School (Edgewood ISD) and Sam Houston High School (SAISD) , and HEB at McCollum (Harlandale ISD) and Highlands (SAISD) high schools. Others include Linebarger Goggan Blair
& Sampson at Twain Middle School; State Rep. Mike Villarreal’s Office at
Bohnam Elementary, Mayor Julián Castro’s Office and City Council at Wheatley Middle School, Texas A
& M University at Tafolla Middle School (SAISD) and Kazen Middle School (SSISD) and the University of Texas at San Antonio at Twain Middle School (SAISD).
In 2009, CIS-SA hired a curriculum consultant to develop additional materials. In 2010 with the help of University of Texas professor and mentoring expert Dr. Michael Karcher, MM conducted a mentor process evaluation to measure relationship quality indicators.
In 2010 CPS Energy assisted the Mayor’s Office in developing a Web site, which now serves as a mentoring toolkit, for other businesses involved in the citywide comprehensive mentoring initiative.