The University of St. Thomas College of Education, Leadership and Counseling is partnering for the fifth year with Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) for the Step-Up Boys Mentorship Program Summer Summit. Approximately 50-75 young men from various schools within the NWSISD member collaborative will participate in the week long program beginning June 15 on the Minneapolis campus.

The Step-Up Boys Mentorship Program helps promote student achievement by encouraging students to focus on four educational concepts: Aspirations, Expectations, Opportunities and Achievement. The program is intended to prepare students leaving eighth grade for the increased rigor they will encounter in ninth grade.

Several Step-Up alumni will return as peer leaders at this year’s summer summit.

CELC’s partnership began in 2010 under the leadership of then dean Bruce Kramer, Ed.D., who saw the program as an opportunity to not only plant seeds for the future, but to give back to our community. The first cohort of participants, now 12th graders, are looking forward to graduating high school and beginning the next part of their journey as college-bound students.

During a recent Step-Up Mentorship Program Graduation celebration to honor the first cohort, the young men were asked to share their experience in mentorship program. Responses included:

  • “I credit much of my high school success to this program.”
  • “I wish this program went through college.”
  • “This program helped me to feel better about myself and I have more confidence.”
  • “This program made me more aware of who I am and who I want to be.”
  • “Because of this program, I changed not only at school, but at home, at work, and as an athlete.”
  • “I learn, not only from my mistakes, but also when I succeed.”
  • “I learned to be efficacious, self-sufficient, responsible, and integrity.”
  • “My favorite Step-Up event was the very first week at St. Thomas University.”

Step-Up team leaders continue to encourage these young men to think critically; consider both short- and long-term goals; be consistent; be above average; and not to ignore the big and small signs of their leadership abilities.

Additional information about this years’ summit can be found on the NWSISD website.

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