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What it Takes is a national outreach initiative that connects highly successful minority entrepreneurs, scientists, professional athletes, businessmen, military and medical professionals with hundreds of African-American and Latino males at risk of dropping out of high school. What it Takes fills a motivational void by having these high profile men, many of whom have struggled through the same paths as the target audience (14-18 year olds), reach back and tell them "What it Takes".
An expansion of the Urban Youth Racing School's What It Takes program, the e-mentoring effort aims to span the social networking, geographic and generational divide between mentors and mentees, while encouraging meaningful relationships. In particular, the program will focus on improving the boys' emotional well-being, career awareness and attitudes towards school while helping black professional men become more involved in bettering their communities.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which promotes informed and engaged communities, is funding the effort with a $490,000 grant.
WIT e-mentoring program benefits a group of 200 9th grade, Black male students from Mastery Charter schools and other Philadelphia District schools. WIT E-Mentoring, powered by a web-based mentoring platform created by icouldbe.org, will engage mentors and mentees in structured activities focused on online safety, time management and study skills, internet literacy, building work experience, and explorations of different career paths.
This will be the first mentoring program in the Philadelphia region to employ technology to conduct web-based training, communication and engagement, particularly with a focus on the young African-American male population. The e-mentoring program will support caring, structured relationships through vehicles like email, chat rooms and computer conference systems, to connect mentors with their mentees across time and/or distance. In addition, the mentors and mentees will have in-person meetings to help cement relationships.
- Michelle Martin
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