POSTED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 6:30am
UPDATED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 6:34am
BATON ROUGE, LA — Today, Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) will launch its second cohort of Voyage, a program that enlists volunteers.
The event will take place at 9:00 a.m. at Glen Oaks High School. Voyage Captains will be enlisted to mentor recommended middle school students from seventh grade through high school graduation. The goals of the program are to help students transition into high school, graduate from high school, followed by enrollment into some type of post secondary education.
In 2006, Voyage I enrolled 22 students who attended Capitol Middle. Twice monthly, the students met as a group and participated in Junior Achievement lessons along with personal development activities. When the students entered eighth grade they were matched with a Voyage Captain mentor who conducted bi-weekly meetings with his assigned student. Mentors are professional men and women in the community who have a desire to work with troubled students to prevent them from dropping out of school. Voyage Captains are asked to commit to at least one year of service.
Upon entering ninth grade, Voyage I students attended 10 different high schools. VIPS staff maintained contact with the Voyage Captains, recruited new Captains, helped arrange visits between the Captains and the students, and for each grade level assembled lessons plans that were placed in Voyage Manuals and provided to each Captain.
Of the initial 22 students, 17 remained in the program -- 14 graduated high school, two are working on their GED’s and one will graduate this school year. Today, of the 14 who graduated from high school, five are enrolled in four-year colleges, six are enrolled at Baton Rouge Community College, one attends technical school, and three have not enrolled in school but are working full-time.
At the Voyage II Kick-off on the 26th, speakers will outline plans for the new cohort. Guests will also be able to hear from a student who completed Voyage I as well as enjoy refreshments. EBRP school board ,VIPS board and advisory members, district leaders, school officials, community partners, volunteers, and the media are invited to attend. VIPS is an independent nonprofit that works to foster student success and build support for public education.