UM-Dearborn’s Campus Action Project: Having Our Potential Empowered Mentoring Program

University of Michigan at Dearborn, Dearborn, MI


Having Our Potential Empowered Mentoring Program


Through a mentoring program with 12 college women students and 12 high school women students, this University of Michigan at Dearborn CAP Team in Dearborn, Michigan, worked to overcome some of the educational barriers low-income and women of color face.


Through pairing 12 college women students with 12 high school women students, this CAP team worked to overcome some of the educational barriers low-income and minority young women face in the Dearborn, MI, area. The year-long mentoring program focused on achieving high school graduation, college readiness, life skills, leadership roles, and career goals. Some of the activities the mentor/mentee pairs engaged in included a campus tour, career fair, and life skills workshop.

The mentoring program occurred throughout 2008-09. The CAP grant specifically funded a successful two-day tour of local colleges in February 2009. Mentoring pairs visited a state college, private college, community college, and an historically black college so that the high school students could learn about the various options available to them for higher education.

In their final report, the CAP team said they received positive feedback that it was by far the favorite event for the mentees of the whole year. Many of the mentees said they will now look for a specific type of institution based on the tour and from what they experienced.

From the CAP team leader, “The results of this trip far exceeded my expectations. It allowed me the opportunity to spend more personal time versus programming time with each of the participants. I personally had an opportunity to inquire what was working in the program and was able to gather some valuable programming ideas for the fall to improve the overall mentoring process. It was also interesting to hear the goals and aspirations of the girls and to share with them several alternatives for them to consider exploring. These conversations have also helped me in changing the focus of the program for the fall to better address the needs of the girls.”


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