Presented by Old National
Kara Simmons and Josh Mendoza are Teacher-Mentors at Elevate Indianapolis who are passionately developing long-term, life-changing relationships with students at George Washington and Arsenal Tech High Schools, respectively.
Let’s experience a day in their shoes as they come alongside students navigating life’s challenges.
The day begins for Kara by reviewing her lesson plans for Elevate’s state-accredited in-school classes and updating the Thriving Youth Dashboard, a data-driven Salesforce program that helps Elevate quantify the impact Teacher-Mentors have with the students they serve.
Our T-Ms update the dashboard with student engagement data daily, so we always have an updated view of our collective impact.
Students who aren’t currently in his classes stop by to say hello to Josh and ask about upcoming college & career mentoring events this semester. For Elevate, we define these touchpoints as “meaningful interactions.”
Our students report having an average of only 1.8 adults they trust in their lives. 21% of them say they have ZERO non-family adults they trust. 61% of Elevate students say they have a deep relationship with their Teacher-Mentor.
Kara messages students from her caseload encouraging them, checking in on their well being, and reminding them about the week’s after-school mentoring events.
From January 2016 through July 2021, our staff spent 14,427 hours mentoring students in 1:1 settings, small & large groups, in person, over phone calls and text messages, and even over Zoom.
Josh welcomes a couple of the students from his caseload who are in one of his classes into the classroom for a mid-day lunch-time mentoring session to catch up.
During August & September 2021, 184 students spent over 1,400 hours in mentoring with us—over lunch, after school, during organized activities, and through informal 1:1 personal interactions.
Kara is the co-teacher today for our Elevate Beyond college & career class. Today’s class is focused on learning what it takes to find housing after graduation and how you establish credit to be able to rent an apartment or obtain a mortgage.
37% of our students hold a leadership position, and 77% percent say they expect to have a great life. Last year, 100% of our Elevate Seniors graduated! And 80% of them left high school with an actionable plan for employment, education, or enlisting.
After lunch, Josh leads a lesson for an Elevater class full of 11th grade students. Today, the students are preparing lessons on Responsibility (one of our core character qualities) to teach to the fourth graders they’ll go visit later in the week at Theodore Potter Elementary.
As our 4th-12th grade pipeline model grows, we’re beginning to have students who participated in "Little Elevate" in elementary school or who were mentored by our Teacher-Mentors in middle school. 5% of our students last year had exposure to Elevate before enrolling in our high school classes.
Kara hosts several young ladies for an afterschool Young Queens mentoring session. Today, she facilates a discussion around our Pathways to Purpose roadmapping material, all while doing a fun candle making activity!
Last year, 110 students participated in College & Career mentoring for an average of 8.6 hours each. This year, we are on pace to involve at least that many students for three times the number of hours!
Josh and other male Teacher-Mentors get together with 10 of our ATHS & GWHS high school students after school for a Sports & Adventure mentoring session, which includes a discussion about the recent surge of violence in Indy and how to resolve conflict peacefully.
During our summer break, 45 students participated in over 1,600 hours of adventure mentoring with us. We use experiences like camping, boating, and hiking to broaden our students’ worlds and open the door for social-emotional learning conversations.
After Hope & Hoops, Josh drives one of the young men home. This “windshield time” (taking students home) is always valuable time for mentoring conversation and relationship building.
37% of our students say they participate in after school events with Elevate at least monthly and 25% say they hang out 1:1 with a Teacher-Mentor at least once per month.
After Kara gets home and makes dinner, one of her students texts her about a challenging situation involving a family member. The two of them chat on the phone to work through how the student can process and approach the situation healthily.
72% of our students say that their T-M shares with them about life problems and 64% of students communicate with their T-M at least monthly.