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Questions Frequently Asked By Mentors

What is Booker Promise?  

Booker Promise is a commitment to prepare Booker High School students for the 21st century  workforce without the burden of unmanageable college debt. More specifically, Booker Promise  is a comprehensive college and career-readiness program designed to ensure that every eligible  Booker High School student has the skills and resources necessary to develop to their fullest  potential. Additionally, the Program guarantees scholarships to pay tuition and registration fees  for a technical certificate or associate degree at a Florida public college or technical school for  every eligible economically disadvantaged student who is at-risk of failing to graduate from high  school.  

What is a mentor?  

A mentor is a caring, compassionate adult who chooses to devote their time to a young person.  Mentors encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, supports academic achievement  and introduces new ideas. A mentor’s goal is to help a young person discover their strengths and  achieve their potential. A mentor is not a tutor.  

Why become a mentor?  

Investing in young people today creates a stronger, more equitable and inclusive future for all  tomorrow. Many young people have sparks inside but lack the confidence to let their light shine.  Great mentors teach mentees that their sparks warrant a spot on this earth and can lead to a  future of endless possibilities. Without this support, guidance and encouragement, young people  often struggle to access the parts of themselves that are destined for greatness.  

What is the time commitment to become a mentor?  

If you can donate approximately 45 minutes twice a month from September through May, you  can change a young person’s life by helping build a solid foundation of values, establish goals,  improve their academic and life skills, while developing their self-esteem and confidence.  

Where and when does mentoring occur?  

Mentoring sessions occur on-site at Booker High School or via a secure video/text App where  students and mentors can meet virtually. The days and times of mentoring sessions are arranged  between the mentor and mentee depending on their individual schedules and classes. As a result,  mentoring is convenient for both student and mentor.  

How do I become a mentor?  

The first step to becoming a mentor is to contact Booker Promise by clicking the link on the  Booker Promise Become a Mentor website page. After your request is received, you will be  contacted and asked to complete an application, participate in online mentor training  (approximately 45 minutes) followed by a background check the cost of which is paid for by the  Booker Promise Foundation. All of this can be completed virtually and the processing time, from  receipt of an application, is approximately one to three weeks.  

What additional training is available for mentors?  

Additional online mentor training is available monthly covering an array of topics designed to  enhance the mentor’s skills and understanding of issues of importance to your mentee. 

Who are the students served by the Booker Promise Program?  

  • All students are enrolled at Booker High School in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. 
  • They must meet low income and at-risk guidelines.  
  • They are required to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and remain drug and crime free. 
  • They sign a contract that requires both the student and family to make a long-term   commitment.  
  • A probation process is in place to monitor each student’s academic standing and behavior.  
  • In addition to a mentor, each student is matched with a College Readiness Coach.  

What is the job of a College Readiness Coach? 

  • To facilitate college readiness activities that ensure academic success.  
  • To work with mentors and school personnel to provide students with tools for future   success.  
  • To monitor student progress and provide interventions as needed.  
  • To maintain accurate, up-to-date files on each student.  
  • To work closely with every student to pursue all scholarship opportunities.  
  • To assist in both planning and attending activities and events.  

What do I need to know about the Booker Promise Scholarship Program?  

  • The scholarship is a two-year Florida prepaid scholarship which can be used at any of   Florida’s 11 state universities and 28 Florida colleges (formerly known as community   colleges).  
  • Students can also pursue a two-year vocational/technical degree offered at any of the   state colleges, i.e., fire academy, police academy, diesel mechanic certification programs.  
  • The scholarship does not cover additional college expenses, such as some fees, books,   transportation and housing.  
  • The scholarship does not guarantee admission to any college or university. The student   must complete the traditional application process.  

What other scholarships and resources are available for Booker Promise students? 

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gives students access to the largest   source of financial aid available to both university and college students. Grants such as   Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education Grants are examples of grants   available through FAFSA. Student eligibility for most federal student aid depends on a   variety of factors, including Expected Family Contribution, the year in college, student   enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the college student will be attending.   Booker Promise and its partners provide yearly workshops for seniors in order to facilitate   the application process.  
  • A Florida Bright Futures Scholarship for seniors also provides funding opportunities for   eligible students. The minimum GPA to qualify is a 3.0 plus 75 community services hours. 
  • Local foundations such as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Selby Foundation and   the Community Foundation of Sarasota offer an array of scholarships every year to local   students.  
  • Numerous scholarships opportunities are also available from a wide array of institutions   both locally and nationally.  
  • Booker Promise College Readiness Coach’s work closely with Booker Promise students to   pursue all scholarship opportunities.  
  • To maintain any scholarship, a student must remain in good academic standing   throughout their university/college program of study.