At the beginning of spring semester 2001 the volunteer office coordinator at Harriet Tubman Middle School informed several Reed interns of the school's dire need for one-on-one mentors. A list had been compiled of over 90 Tubman students who were placed, or had requested to be placed, on a mentor waiting list due to their academic, social, or disciplinary problems. The Reed-Tubman partnership responded immediately to this need in two ways. First, the partnership's yearlong interns volunteered to each mentor a student once a week in addition to their already pledged commitment to work as teachers' aides and team-teach after-school classes.
Second, the partnership advertised at Reed College for new volunteers to mentor a minimum of one student for one hour, once a week. After a short application and interview process, six committed Reed students were hired to volunteer at Harriet Tubman as part of the partnership's new satellite mentor program. The mentors were given a tour of Harriet Tubman led by the Vice principal, Carla Sosanya, on February 20-21, 2001, and began mentoring the following Monday. The program continued and has shown great success. Each mentor was responsible for structuring each hour-long session with the Harriet Tubman students. Focus ranges from academic help and tutoring to simply providing a stable and consistent older figure in the students' lives. The mentors wrote a short weekly summary of their individual sessions to ensure a level of professionalism throughout their relationship with the Tubman students as well as maintaining a feeling of cohesiveness within the larger Reed-Tubman partnership. In 2007, we moved the partnership to Lane Middle School and have continued the program in a similar format.
Lane is located at SE 60th and Ogden, just under 2.5 miles away; students can bike or take the 19 to 60th and Duke and walk south to the school.LASER overview