Reflecting national trends, the local school system shows entrenched disparities of student outcomes. These disparities remain correlated with racial and economic background all have persisted despite varied attempts to address them. While many disadvantaged students do become high achievers and go on to college, too many fail and are failed by the school system.

Mentoring for Academic Success (MAS)

Since 1999, Mentoring for Academic Success (MAS) has served under-represented students through after school tutoring, academic guidance, and parent support. We strive to assist students in academic proficiency and in cultivating an early interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) fields.

In addition to tutoring and STEAM activities, we offer enrichment meetings for parents focusing on academic motivation, communication skills, university-readiness, and more. Student to tutor ratio is 4:1 which allows for tutoring to be individualized and focused to each student’s needs. The program runs throughout September to May and is offered at all three MI locations.

Future Dates: 

September 11, 2023-May 2, 2024

Youth Writing Festival

The Youth Writing Festival (YWF) offers students an opportunity to work on their writing skills and addresses the issue of them backsliding over the summer on progress made during the school year. Students meet each weekday morning during the months of June and July. Participants write daily, benefit from individual tutoring, and the camaraderie of small study groups.

The main focus and topics of the creative writing prompts are on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). The program offers STEAM related activities and field trips. A published Anthology of their written work is created and each student has an opportunity to participate in a public reading during the closing ceremony.

Future Dates: 

June 17, 2024 – July 12, 2024

Parent and Tutor

The MAS/YWF program strives for academic success as a family, assisting the students academically while informing the parents of resources, creating a greater impact in the community. Parents are encouraged to become part of their children’s education not just through their participation in the available parent workshops hosted by staff but also through meetings and conversations with tutors and program staff.

Tutors take part in meetings and attend trainings to become better tutors to MAS/YWF students. There is a training and orientation before each MAS and YWF session with tutors benefiting from multiple learning opportunities throughout the year. Currently, the diverse tutor cohorts are composed of students primarily from: UC Berkeley, Berkeley City College, St. Mary’s College, Cañada College and Menlo Park.