Peer Mentoring

New Design High School


About the Practice

Peer mentoring is something we’ve had since the start of the ESI grant. Alumni, college-going males mentor ESI students and lead our Gents group. We have anywhere from 4-5 mentors working for a stipend to provide peer mentorship through classroom push-ins, pull-outs, observations, tutoring, weekly small group lunches as well as meeting with parents, staff and students regarding academics and socio-emotional needs. Mentors are each in 2-3 days weekly and we have at least one in each day.

Connections to ESI and CRE Goals

Target Population/Total Students:

Mentors target all ESI students (currently 9-10th) but also work with upperclassmen who participate in the Gents. ESI is 14-16 yrs old, approximately 100 students. Additionally, 30-40 Gents up to age 18.


  • Difficulty in separating themselves as staff and students and recent grads
  • Requires constant training and retraining of mentors
  • Mentors ability to balance their lives as college students & maneuver that process for themselves. We must provide them with support as well.

How did school overcome challenges?

We work through these challenges continuously, but reinforce with frequent supervision, check-ins and trainings; Developing open, honest communication + relationships w/ the mentors, pairing mentors with students they connect to (and vice versa) + keeping them vested and involved in all processes involving their students.

How will you continue to sustain this practice?

We are looking for outside funding, considering ways to compensate mentors w/ rec. letters and connections both in and outside of school in exchange for their service. Professional Development for mentors and bringing them more into the fold of the full staff PD would help to support their training. Scheduling is flexible according to mentors’ college classes. Perhaps partnering with their colleges to earn credits or on-job work experience?