Student Mentoring Program


Making the Difference

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Your help is needed...Become a mentor!


The mission of the Norfolk Public Schools’ Student Mentorship Program is to pair students with caring individuals who will cultivate supportive relationships that positively contribute to student achievement and success.


All children have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society. However, not all children get the support they need to thrive. If you reflect on your own youth, you may remember someone who served as a mentor, someone you could trust and turn to for support and encouragement, someone who made you feel special.

Mentoring happens when caring individuals provide young people with support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples. Mentoring can and does help young people succeed, no matter what their circumstances!

At its most basic level, mentoring helps because it lets young people know that they have others who care about them, and who will listen to their dreams and help them achieve their goals.

Our program

In 2003-04 NPS began a pilot mentoring program in eight schools. The program’s success was astonishing! That year there more than 200 adults who committed to and fulfilled the obligation of coming to those schools on a weekly basis to mentor children. The program has now grown to 36 schools, 50 site coordinators, and more than 1,900 mentors. Additionally, NPS was the recipient of the “Most Outstanding Mentoring Program in the State of Virginia Award” in 2007, and won national recognition with a self-esteem award from Reader’s Digest and Dove in 2008.

How to become a mentor to an NPS student

Call the Community Engagement office at 628 – 3951, contact a site coordinator at one of our participating schools, or visit our web site:

Small time commitment… BIG impact

Young people who have a mentor in their lives do better in school and are less likely to participate in risk-taking behaviors. Mentoring programs are credited with keeping 98 percent of the participants in school.

No special skills required

If you:

  • Like working children and young adults
  • Are dependable
  • Enjoy sharing ideas and talents with others
  • Are flexible and a good listener
  • Possess a sense of humor
  • Want to make a contribution to society
  • Believe in youth and their potential
  • Encourage young people to set and achieve goals

…Become a Mentor!

2009-10 school year

This year, the Student Mentorship Program will include 36 schools and 50 site coordinators. All participating schools are seeking volunteers to become mentors. Each mentor must follow the same criteria, including a background check, TB test, an interview and a reference check. We are proud of our program and welcome you to become involved and make a difference.

Community & Business

Several business and community groups allow their employees one hour of service per week to go into our schools and volunteer as mentors for our students. These businesses have made the Norfolk Public Schools Student Mentorship Program what it is today. Their commitment to our schools has provided service from employees to make the NPS SMP program recognized as one of most outstanding mentoring programs in the state and in the nation. Businesses make a difference in our community!


You are always there to protect us and our country, but we also want you to be leaders in our schools. As the home of the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic Region, Norfolk is comprised of the largest body of military installations in the United States. It seems only fitting that as a member of the military you would serve as a role model for students in our community. Your dedication, hard work and patriotism can set a foundation of learning for the students you mentor. We understand that your time is valuable, but there are many opportunities for you to become involved in Norfolk Public Schools and perform community service.

Don’t wait, sign up today!


Old Dominion University’s Career Switcher Program partnered with us last year and created a year-long as to drum up mentors for our program. But you don’t have to be a part of a big partnership like ODU to participate. We want you just because you’re you! There doesn’t have to be a commitment from your workplace or organization for you to begin the process of becoming a mentor today. Over the years we have shared our mission with many people and they each ask the same thing: “How do I become a mentor?” The steps are easy, and the rewards are great. Fill out the application below or visit with the site coordinator at one of our many schools to start down the path toward mentoring today. Remember, you can make the difference in child.

Mentors help children reach their potential.

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