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The mission of the Incentive Mentoring Program is to use a "family-style" mentoring approach to foster the transformation of high school students, who are not meeting minimum academic requirements and facing significant psychosocial challenges, into self-motivated, resourceful, and socially aware leaders committed to a higher purpose of their own.
Although only 38.5% of Baltimore City children will receive a high school diploma on time, all fifteen members of the original IMP class of 2007 graduated high school with a combined total of 123 college acceptances and $1,000,000 in scholarships. IMP extends a school-based tutoring program to the home, providing support to youth struggling with poverty, drugs, and violence. Four elements comprise our program: academic assistance, community service, team-building, and social support.
- Academic Assistance and Advocacy
Mentors serve as tutors, advocates, and counselors for students. We offer:
-Tutoring and assignment tracking
-Training in organizational skills
-Communicating with teachers and administration on behalf of students
-One-on-one consulting throughout the college application process
-Essay writing workshops
-Tax preparation and FAFSA sessions
- Empowerment Through Community Service
When entering IMP, the primary concern of many teenagers is self-preservation. However, when these young adults are put in the position of giving to others, it changes their perspective on life. It is empowering to see others in similar situations overcome hardships and to actively participate in that process. When involved in activities such as mentoring younger children of similar backgrounds, IMP students undertake responsibility that prepares them to be role models in the future. These activities inspire students to reevaluate their own lives and instill in them a newfound sense of confidence that change is possible. A feeling of helplessness is replaced by hope.
- Leadership & Team Building
IMP students become both leaders in the classroom and in the community. Through teambuilding activities, camping trips, and peer tutoring, IMP students acquire the interpersonal skills they need for success. As the students grow together, they begin to rely on one another and take more active roles in managing IMP itself.
- Social Support
Beyond taking part in programmed activities, mentors become extended family for IMP students. Each student is matched with a team of 5 or more mentors, called "IMP Family." The "IMP Family" is dedicated to identifying the student's individual barriers to success and creating customized solutions. Our "family approach" enables us to touch every aspect of these students' lives.