Characteristics of Mentoring Programs for Elementary School At-risk Youth: A Descriptive Case Study

Characteristics of Mentoring Programs for Elementary School At-risk Youth: A Descriptive Case Study

Author: 
Beverly Cumbo
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
Some elementary schools lack interventions or methods that enhance positive developmental outcomes socially and academically for at-risk youth. An assumption is that schools incorporate several interventions, such as mentoring, aligned with the challenges faced to meet the needs of at-risk youth. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive case study was to describe the characteristics of mentoring programs and to enable school leaders to design mentoring programs for at-risk youth in an urban school district located in eastern Virginia. A school administrator and a mentoring program coordinator, from a school district were the participants in the study. Interviews were conducted, and field notes were taken from non-participant observations of mentoring programs as the data collection tools. The themes that emerged from the study are as follows: (a) benefits of mentoring programs, (b) characteristics of mentoring programs, (c) factors associated with success and evidence of success, (d) academic and behavior needs for at-risk students, and (e) failure of at-risk students. The findings of the study offered insight into the characteristics of mentoring programs for at-risks youth in elementary schools and recommendations for further research for school administrators, school boards, and policy makers. Youth considered at-risk for academic failure tend to need more support to accomplish achievement in an educational setting. This study will enable elementary school administrators in a school district to consider providing mentoring programs as an intervention for at-risk youth in an educational setting.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this study to my mother, the first African American Ms. Senior Virginia. You have open doors for many to follow. As your only child, you have set the standard for me before I was born. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made for me throughout this journey and throughout my life. You have instilled in me the value of education and hard work. I have never seen anyone who work as hard as you do. You are one of a kind, and God could not have given me anyone better to be my mom. Thank you for teaching me to always finish what I started. I could not have done this without you. To my sons, Jordan and Grant. Thank you for putting up with me throughout this journey. I know your mother has been extremely busy with this study. I appreciate your patience and your many interruptions. I hope you are proud of me. Please remember never to give up on your dreams, and all things are possible through God. To my grandson, Mason. Mema loves you to the moon and back. Thank you for your many hugs and kisses. You and I are going to take our own vacation, so that I can make up for lost time I spent working hard to make a better life for you. Dream BIG!
Acknowledgements: 
I am grateful to many people. I want to take this moment to give God all the glory. For He has done great things. I want to express my sincere gratefulness to God for giving me the strength to endure. The completion of this doctoral journey would not be achieved without the loving support of my mother, Olivia W. Martin. You are the BEST mother and the BEST role model in the world. Thank you, Jordan and Grant, my two sons, for being proud of your mom. I Love You Forever (your favorite book I read to you both as toddlers). Thanks Ashley and Grant for the many meals you prepared and brought to me in my room when I was working. I am grateful to have been blessed with a loving and caring extended family who always encouraged me to give my best. Thanks Angelique, Monique, and Lillie for enabling me to be your role model. I hope I made you all proud. Thanks to my BEST friend since ninth grade Felix, and her daughter, Dr. Brooke Coley, who supported me throughout my journey. Thanks Felecia for your support and helping my family in more ways than one. Your friendship is one of a kind Captain Francini Clemmons, and I thank you for being there throughout my entire journey. You could not wait to call me Dr. Cumbo! I also want to thank Reverend Robert Hill for his continued encouragement and his many prayers. He believed in me even when I wanted to give up. I am thankful for the dedication and prudent advice of my chair, Dr. Lequisha Brown-Joseph. You have been with me from the very beginning, and for that, I am truly grateful. I extend my sincere gratitude to my committee members Dr. Sharon Fountain and Dr. Mary Wilson for your support. I have learned so much from all of you!