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Fred Bramante




10,000 Mentors
Granite Views: Fred Bramante

06/26/14
By Fred Bramante



 The 10,000 Mentor project has made the front page of one of the largest education publications in the United States, Education Week. And, last Sunday, 10,000 Mentors was featured on Fred Kocher’s New Hampshire Business on WMUR. It’s clear that people like this concept. So, if we’re going to do these mentorships, how do we do them right? 

For the last four months, the education nonprofit that I lead, the National Center for Competency-Based Learning, has been working feverishly on a report (funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation) on the subject of mentorships in order to help refine our efforts. I’m proud to say that, under the leadership of Manchester superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston and with the approval of the Manchester Board of School Committee, Manchester was first to sign on. Our goal is to identify, recruit, and train 10,000 mentors for Manchester-IKM4M (for our purposes mentorships and internships are synonymous). 
While most everyone loves the concept of community mentors for students, we sought out information on what’s already happening on this subject, not just in New Hampshire but around the nation. Among our findings is that while there are mentoring programs all over the U.S., almost none of them provide the opportunity for credit toward graduation. However, that is already beginning to change, starting here in New Hampshire.
Our plan is to work with the ELO (extended learning opportunity) coordinators for each of the four high schools in Manchester to seek out doctors, lawyers, accountants, piano instructors, manufacturers, software developers, farmers, and more who are willing to train students interested in learning specific professions. Call them what you’d like, these opportunities pay off for virtually everyone. They provide students with real skills. They provide businesses with trained future employees. They keep our students in New Hampshire, thereby providing our state with a trained workforce. 
A recent study funded by the New York Federal Reserve concluded that, more than the college that you go to, your declared major or your GPA, internships lead to jobs. This is a huge finding. Armed with this information, we sought to find out how we can best prepare our state to ensure that we do internships/mentorships right. The report is done: 40 pages long and packed with amazing information ready to share with interested districts. So, starting here in Manchester, who wants to be a mentor? 
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor please contact Fred Bramante at fbramante@nccbl.org. Fred is past chairman and member of the NH State Board of Education. He speaks and consults on education redesign.
 
As seen in the June 26, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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