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Mentoring 101

Raw Art Works 

“The most critical piece of a successful mentoring relationship is establishing a good relationship between mentor and mentee.“

Raw Art Works (RAW) believes that all kids should be SEEN and HEARD and passionately pursues its mission to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth.

RAW provides high-quality after-school and out-of-school time arts-based programming. RAW offers underserved youth a myriad of therapeutic visual arts groups, film school classes, leadership development, and teen employment programming. Today 560+ youth ages 7-20 attend RAW’s programs annually. 

Unlike many other community arts education programs, RAW does not select students based on talent or prior experience. 

By staffing our programs with art therapists and teaching artists, RAW can effectively use art as a powerful medium to deeply engage underserved youth of all ages, including those with serious clinical needs. Our staff members address the issues that regularly arise in the lives of kids living in a community riddled with poverty and violence. 

Project Launch: Raw's College & Career Access Program

Project Launch provides goal-oriented college access and career readiness programming for high school students. Through 1:1 mentoring matches, as well as workshops, and staff office hours, RAW is building post-secondary life skills. The time commitment for volunteers averages one hour per week, including six mentor trainings during the year.  In a city where only 76% of the 2015 seniors graduated high school in four years, RAW is proud that for eight years, our seniors have maintained a near-perfect graduation rate, and 92% have applied, were accepted into, and have attended a college. 

A volunteer mentor last year reported, “My mentee had little hope, little guidance from home or school, had a child at 15, didn't think he'd go to college, was skeptical of this and of me. By the end, he was a full man, taking responsibility for all aspects of his life, applying to colleges, applying for scholarships, and being observant and diligent. He did not let himself down. It just took some guidance, commitment, love, and caring from others to see that he does have a great life ahead of himself if he commits to the difficult work of making that happen. It was incredible to watch as he grew.