Kristina Blake knows first-hand the importance of finishing high school.
She dropped out of Bellingham High School three months before graduating because she “didn’t value or appreciate education” and just wanted to make money.
After working low-paying jobs for a couple of years, she decided she needed to go back to school in order to be successful and get the kind of job she valued. Now, the 24-year-old is helping teens avoid the same mistake she did.
Blake is a mentor with a new high school mentorship program called SEE YOU IN SCHOOL! run by Communities In Schools of Whatcom County.
SEE YOU IN SCHOOL! targets high school students, mostly freshmen, who are struggling academically. The students are paired with an adult mentor who serves as a role model, provides a mature viewpoint, and helps guide the students to a successful path through school.
“Failure to thrive academically … is one of the greatest indicators a student will drop out. Who wants to say in school if they’re unsuccessful?” said Dennis D’Amelio, director of Communities in Schools. “It’s our belief, and it’s documented widely, that if a kid is doing better in school, they are less likely to drop out.”
Blake is now a Whatcom Community College student on track to graduate this spring and transfer to Washington State University. She said she joined the program because she can “definitely relate to some of the students.”
“A lot of young people are maybe in the same situation,” she said. “They’re at that time in their lives when they’re over school, they’re done with it, and they want to go out and make money.”
“It’s not until you realize when you’re in that situation that you’re only going to get so far,” she said.
ADULT MENTORS NEEDED
The high school mentoring program SEE YOU IN SCHOOL! needs adult mentors. To volunteer or learn more about the program, call 360-778-3759 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.