Urban Pathways mentoring program creates success

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This year marked the 5th anniversary of the Urban Pathways Charter Schools Benefitting African American Males Mentoring Program.

At BAAM’s annual recruiting breakfast on Jan. 10 program mentors, mentees, staff and school administrators reflected on how far the program has come in a short time.

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HOSTS—The Honorable Dwayne D. Woodruff and his wife Joy Maxberry Woodruff.

“The point of BAAM is to help you choose a path and a career for life,” said 9th grade student Suron Tomlin. “This is my first year joining BAAM and it is an excellent experience.”

“Lets really be mindful about investing in our youth,” said mentor Allyce Pinchback, program officer, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. “Please give your time. It will be a life changing opportunity for not only the youth you mentor, but yourself.”

BAAM and its newer sister program Women In Sync Everywhere, for female students, pairs up high school students with professional mentors to support them while in high school and through their college transition. As a result of the program and other support services at Urban Pathways, the school’s most recent class boasted a 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent college acceptance.

“It’s developed a culture in our school that you don’t get anywhere else,” said Urban Pathways CEO Linda Clautti. “We look at those statistics every year and we have service programs going on where students look at how the program has impacted them, not just academically, but socially, we look at attendance and other things like participation.”

The recruiting breakfast at the Rivers Club featured Judge Dwayne Woodruff, a former Pittsburgh Steelers and mentoring advocate who serves as a family court judge in the Court of Common Pleas. He and his wife Joy Maxberry Woodruff host the yearly event.

“You heard about the Urban Pathway’s numbers—100 percent graduated, 100 percent accepted. Let me tell you about some other numbers. I work with delinquency cases. Not one of the kids who come before me has a mentor,” Woodruff said. “The work you all do here makes my work easier. The larger this room gets, the smaller my court room gets.”

This year always marks a change for the mentoring programs, which will now be led by Christopher Edmonds who previously worked with a similar mentoring program through Duquesne University.

“I believe that encouraging our young people to go to college and highlighting the importance of education is paramount to helping our economy,” Edmonds said. “We take that into every mentoring session, that we are making an investment in our young people.”

If you are interested in being a mentor, please visit Urban Pathways’ Website at http://www.upcs.net.

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