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Rockford Promise looking for mentors to help students achieve success in the classroom

Davis says the organization has some work to do as nearly 30% of its scholars who attend Northern Illinois University need immediate improvement in their grades.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:15 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s a program that offers full tuition scholarships for deserving Rockford Public School graduates but nearly 30% of Rockford Promise scholars struggle in their classes. If they don’t meet the program requirements soon, they risk losing their scholarship.

Rockford Promise Executive Director Tasha Davis confirms several students aren’t meeting program requirements, that includes maintaining a 3.0 GPA and doing a certain amount of volunteer work each year.

“I don’t look at it as a downfall, I look at it as a need and then we have to answer that need by coming to their aid with mentorship and support,” Davis said.

Davis says the organization has some work to do as nearly 30% of its scholars who attend Northern Illinois University need immediate improvement in their grades.

“Now the goal is to keep them in school and make sure they graduate so they can come back to the community and contribute in a positive manner rather than a negative one,” Davis said.

Those students could lose their scholarships. Davis says one on one mentorships will work, but with hundreds of scholars in the program, it’s hard to find that same number of mentors.

“If we can pair these mentors up on individual basis in year one and then pass them off to our business community in year two three and four where they are lining with internships and career expiration opportunities that that is a better strategy to meet the needs of our scholars,” Davis said.

One Rockford Promise scholar is just months away from graduating with a nursing degree from Rockford University. She says she can’t imagine doing it without her mentors.

“It’s especially hard like keeping on track and when you know that you have someone that’s waiting to hear how you’re doing, it makes you push a lot more,” said Alyssa Giardono.

Her advice to future scholars, always keep your mentor in the loop.

“Anything that I need, they’re right there for me,” Giardono said.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara is also helping to recruit Rockford Promise mentors, reaching out to faith leaders, community organizations and Northern Illinois University Alumni.

Davis says the application process to become a mentor is open on the Rockford Promise website.

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