The Freshmen Mentoring Program (FMP) at West functions to help students make a positive transition from eighth grade to ninth grade. Our program operates with the support of the Center for Violence Prevention and Dr. Alan Heisterkamp, based out of the University of Northern Iowa, using the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) model developed by Jackson Katz.
History: West High was one of the first schools to institute mentoring in the state. The program was started in and we have had mentors serving freshmen ever since. Mentors have committed to helping their peers for thousands of hours since the start of the program.
Yearly Activities & Events
Fall Summit at West – topics include mentor training, mental health, facilitation strategies, equity, dating violence, human trafficking.
Spring Summit at WIT with multiple schools – guest speakers, breakouts, leadership training, networking, and support statewide.
Mentors present strategies with other students to share the message of violence prevention, positive attitudes about mental health, and strategies to stop bullying.
All-Mentor Meeting on Tuesdays: All mentors meet together to go over the MVP scenario for the week, discuss issues related to MVP, team build, and plan.
Academic Support Day on Wednesdays: Mentors work on modeling good academic behavior. They check in with their respective homerooms, model organizational and motivational strategies, and provide tutoring for classes they have already taken.
MVP Scenario Day Thursdays: Mentors share a violence prevention scenario with their homerooms. The topics for these include bullying, sexual assault, gender violence, gun violence, and mental health strategies. Mentors lead by sharing a hook video to get the topic started, help students consider real-life experiences, and then collectively think through positive ways to respond.
Fun Day Friday: Mentors play games and team build with freshmen to build relationships.
Influencing the Future
MVP students have been known to go on and continue their positive impacts in the military, in their communities, and on college campuses, carrying the message of non-violence wherever they go. One of the strongest impacts of the program is that students understand complex situations before they happen, and understand a way to react as an upstander to prevent or change a situation so that it can end positively.
Meet the Advisors
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