City to Offer Mentors for High School Students

The City of Long Beach and the Long Beach Unified School District this week announced plans to begin a joint mentoring program this September for selected high school juniors and seniors representing all LBUSD high schools. Students will apply and compete through interviews for the opportunity to participate. If selected, they will spend two to three hours a day, four days a week--their last period class and after school--working with head of a city department where student interest lies. Students will participate in valuable work opportunities with the top city staff that will also contribute to the city's mission. Approximately 30 students will be selected for the first semester beginning this September. "I can't think of a more effective way to help our students learn what the world of work is like than actually having them experience it alongside some of the most knowledgeable people in the city." said third District Council member Frank Colonna, who proposed the city mentoring. "The goal is to give our students strong guidance while at the same time allow them to get solid on-the-job experience," said H.J. Green, LBUSD assistant superintendent for high schools. "All participating students will receive work experience credit. If all goes well, we hope to expand the number of students participating in coming years. Mentoring program applications will be available to high school seniors at a special kickoff event, sponsored by the City of Long Beach, to be held the first week in June. Time and location to be announced. While individual LBUSD schools have created their own mentoring programs, Green said that the joint LBUSD-City effort is the first districtwide mentoring program ever proposed. It will be funded with a portion of a five-year federal School-to-Career Consortium grant.