Last Wednesday evening, Mass Mentoring Partnership President & CEO Marty Martinez joined education and youth development leaders from across the Commonwealth to participate in Build The Future, a special town hall meeting hosted by NBC News Education Nation and broadcast live on NECN and NBC Boston. Marty shares his thoughts on the event:
It was an honor to join so many educators, youth development experts and stakeholders in the Education Nation discussion. These included Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang; Chris Gabrieli, Chairman, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College; Gerald Chertvian, CEO of Year Up; and David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. The issues raised during the program are those that we deal with every day at MMP: how can we prepare young people for success in their lives after high school? How do we ensure they have what they need to thrive as they go out into the world? During the program, we heard from panelists about different pathways for success, overcoming inequities in opportunities, and developing soft skills.
At MMP, we believe that these discussions are critically important and add to our shared understanding of the barriers young people face as they move to adulthood. We also believe that developmental relationships with caring adults are at the center of these efforts. Research shows that young people who have a web of supportive relationships are much more likely to succeed in high school and go on to college and careers. We provide training and technical assistance services to school system staff and administrators to help elevate the role that these relationships play in support of students.
These relationships are particularly important for those students who have no models for what successful transitions from high school looks like. Caring adults can provide the support and guidance a young person needs, which can include everything from building self-esteem to helping navigate the college application process. And, for many students, completing high school is a challenge. Far too many lack connections in school that engage them and make them feel part of the school community. That’s why MMP is supporting a bill in the Massachusetts legislature to embed graduation coaches in schools with dropout rates of 5% or higher to provide wraparound social emotional supports.
I look forward to continuing our work here at MMP to ensure that all young people have access to these relationships that will set them on a path to success and allow them to reach their full potential.
President & CEO, Mass Mentoring Partnership