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The Youth Support Program (YSP) at Willard Middle School is a unique school-based mentoring and enrichment program found nowhere else in the Bay Area. Only seven blocks from the UC Berkeley campus, YSP recruits and trains 50-100 student volunteers each year and places them as mentors and teachers at Willard Middle School. . . Our mission is to provide a nurturing environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and behaviorally. To accomplish this, we train our mentors and teachers to help students achieve in school, improve their leadership skills and self-esteem, develop cultural sensitivity, and learn civic responsibility through safe and fun program activities.
MENTORING: Our mentors are caring adults, usually UC Berkeley students, who are paired with a middle school mentee for one year. Mentors spend three hours a week visiting their mentee's classes, working with them on homework after school, teaching civic responsibility and leadership through community service events, and providing cultural arts education through program events and our partnership with CATS, the Community Access Ticket Service. Together, these activities engage students in school and work to improve student performance and behavior in a way that meets their individual needs.
ENRICHMENT CLASSES: Our enrichment class program addresses barriers to learning by providing after-school math and English courses free of cost to Willard students. Our teachers are trained volunteers, usually from UC Berkeley, who provide support and scholars classes in math or English.
Our support classes help get students up to grade level and earn credit towards graduation, while our scholars classes aim to prepare under-represented groups of students for honors classes and stimulate a love of learning in the subject. Together, these courses aim to close the Berkeley achievement gap and provide after-school enrichment activity.