Peer Mentoring for High School and College Students
Organization Name: South Asian Youth Action (SAYA)
Project ID: 149
Project Name: Peer Mentoring for High School and College Students
Neighborhood Communities that the Project will Serve: CB Queens 04 (Elmhurst/Corona)
Project Description: Our high school participants will gain necessary skills to prepare them for a smooth, successful transition to college, while our college student mentors will learn leadership skills that will benefit them through their higher education and professional careers. Both mentors and mentees will also have the opportunity to provide input on what our project curriculum entails, to ensure the content meets their specific needs.
As a youth centered organization, SAYA has 25 years of experience providing mentorship to young people, empowering and offering them a voice and the tools to succeed in school and in life. We view our participants as co-creators of our programming, and include their input in all of our work to better serve them and our goals of sending more youth of color to college with a wealth of beneficial skills and knowledge.
SAYA has served the youth of our community since 1996. Each year over 1,500 youth from all backgrounds participate in our programs across 10 sites. Low income and first-generation students especially face numerous barriers in earning their college degrees, so we provide targeted program offerings to meet their needs and help them succeed. We are proud to report that 100% of SAYA’s class of 2020 enrolled in colleges that met their academic and personal needs, while 95% of our current college students are on track to graduate within five years.
What Youth are saying about the organization: One of our college students, currently attending CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, spoke recently about his time at SAYA: SAYA helped me balance my mental health during the college application process. Without support from my peers and mentors, I would have struggled with time management, staying on top of the process, and writing my statement. Staying in constant contact with my mentors helped me stay organized and relieved the pressure I felt.
Another of our young women currently enrolled in college spoke about her time in the program: Being a child of immigrants, my mom really couldn't help with the college process. And since I was the first child, I really had no clue on how the college process worked. Thanks to SAYA, I had amazing mentors that held meetings with me and were available anytime to answer my questions. I had the amazing opportunity of being tutored in a small group where I got the individual attention I personally needed.
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