Program highlight: Taunton Area School to Career (TASC)

This guest post is courtesy of Nate Pally, Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring at Taunton Area School to Career (TASC). Nate is providing a quick highlight of his program and one of their National Mentoring Month events.

My name is Nate Pally and I'm a Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring at Taunton Area School to Career (TASC), Inc. TASC is launching its 17th consecutive year of the Career Mentor Program, where we partner business professionals in the community with students at our three partner schools: Taunton High School, Bristol County Agricultural High School, and Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School.

Our mentors share their expertise and knowledge through various college and business tours and one-on-one interactions that focus on strategizing about life after high school, and the skills necessary in achieving their career goals.

The program runs from late January/early February until late May/Early June and all of the students participating in the program are either high-school sophomores or juniors. They come from diverse backgrounds and many fit into certain categories including single-parent households, first to graduate high school/attend post-secondary education, low-income families, and/or have individual learning plans.

My project scope includes mentor recruitment, program support and updating evaluation tools. My goal is to provide TASC with the stats necessary in order to successfully acquire additional funding sources that will support the program.

Mentoring is important because everyone needs role models in their lives to help them transition successfully through various stages. Specifically, my program addresses the need for high school students to have access to successful adult role models in the world of work. Unfortunately, not all students have the resources or the right people to help guide them in a productive direction that will lead to academic and professional success. We strive to help prepare students that are in need of this guidance and direction.

We have a very specific calendar of events for the Career Mentor Program, including mentor recruitment and training, match events, and school kick-off events. We decided to use our National Mentoring Month seed money from MMP to make customized key chains for our mentors and mentees to distribute at our school kick-off events. It was a good opportunity to promote both the Mass Mentoring Partnership and our specific organization. The key chains include both our logo and the MMP logo and also the phrase, “Invest in the Future. Mentor a Child”, which is consistent with the National Mentoring Month theme.

With the seed money, we were able to purchase enough key chains for all of our matches in addition to our school contacts. We will have a surplus and should be able to supply the program with key chains again for next year’s program. The matches seemed very appreciative of the key chains and they are a nice keepsake to promote our organization.

Beyond the key chains, I have been conducting interviews highlighting National Mentoring Month that have run in the Taunton Gazette all through January. In total, I conducted ten interviews, including the former and current superintendents of Taunton Schools, the mayor of Taunton, local state senators and representatives, principals at all of our partner schools, and current mentors that own local businesses and are active in the community.

If you're interested in finding out more about TASC, call me at 508-821-2505.