Last updateWed, 16 Sep 2020 2pm


University Programs Target Local High School Students

Seek to Encourage Teens to Pursue a Higher Degree

default article imageTwo University programs are targeting local high school youths in an effort to propel them towards college careers.

For the third year in a row, 15 University students will pair with 15 Asbury Park High School students and interact with each other on a biweekly basis as a part of Project B.A.M. The program is run in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters (B) of Monmouth County, Asbury Park High School (A) and the Monmouth University Institute for Global Understanding (M).

Activities such as a debate workshop, field hockey, dance, and a tour of the University campus are just a few of the events that will assist the high school students in establishing their academic, personal and career goals.

Amanda Divita, a junior, volunteered last spring and is looking forward to meeting her new mentee in October. 

“I love the idea of helping kids who are in need of assistance in our community,” Divita said.  “I recognized the program’s importance when I saw how much my mentee benefited from it.”

To create an effective pair, a questionnaire is given to both student groups to find a commonality in interests and talents.  This makes the initial meeting a smooth one and the relationship grows from there. 

Shannon Mauer, school and site-based manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, said the program is the new buzz floating around Asbury Park High School, where the students there cannot wait to meet their new mentors.

“The students form a strong bond with each other”, said Mauer. “Not only are the mentors a role model for the children, but also a link to brighter future.”

Mauer pointed out that some of last year’s mentors supported their mentee outside of the program.  

“Some mentors attended their school play at the high school, helped them with their college applications, and cheered them on at sporting events which shows the relationship’s depth to both participants,” she said.

The program is an opportunity for the Asbury Park students to see another aspect of life outside of their town.  Mentors will introduce the student to new people, places and ideas along with motivating them to explore their options for college.

“The program encourages the high school juniors and seniors to continue their strong initiative and responsive approach towards academics and social interests,” said Dr. Nancy Mezey, the Director of the Institute for Global Understanding Director at the University.  

A scholarship is also available through the program for those high school students interested in attending the University after graduation. 

A second mentoring program offered this fall is the College Bound program. It is affiliated with IGU and Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, but the activities take place outside of campus. 

This program is open to all students, faculty, administrators and staff.  High schools that participate in this program include Asbury Park, Neptune and Red Bank Regional.

Volunteers will meet with their mentees either at the Boys and Girls Club in Neptune or at the high school that their mentee attends. 

Much like the Project B.A.M., College Bound uses weekly meetings to introduce the mentees to a college atmosphere and help them stay on track towards a fulfilling future. 

The requirements for participation in both programs are no criminal history, ability to communicate nonjudgmental perspectives and attitudes, and an one-year commitment.

The reward for being involved in a program like B.A.M. or College Bound is simple according to Divita. 

“I really felt that I made a difference in my mentee’s life,” she said.  “That made me feel good.”

Project B.A.M. mentor training will take place in rooms 108 and 109 in the McAllan Hall building on Monday, October 3.  Before attending this training seminar, students are encouraged to fill out the mentor’s application located online at bbbsmonmouth.org or by contacting Shannon Mauer at 7325442224.

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu