the meraki initiative
The Meraki Mentorship Program was created to help students and establish equity in society. We hope to see the next generation as one that is filled with diversity. Our mentorship program is our first step towards this goal. This program was designed to provide support to children with learning disabilities, children from minority groups, and children from immigrant families. Our program aims to provide students with a safe environment where they can comfortably learn, play alongside their peers and our enthusiastic volunteers.
Our program matches a child with one of our mentors. We are currently only mentoring children between the ages of 4 to 14.
We will support students in their academics whilst also building a support network for them. We also plan to organize monthly fun classes with all our students in attendance to create a sense of community and unity.
what is the mentorship program?
All students will be matched with a mentor who is best suited for that child. Our matching process will assess the interests and strengths of both the mentee and our mentor. Parents are also free to check out our team through the 'Meet Our Team' section on our website.
All our mentors have all been given proper training and will be educated on the child's disability so that they can plan activities accordingly. All our mentors have signed Oaths of Confidentiality, thus parents can be assured that all our sessions will be strictly confidential.
"My son is an 11 year old dyslexic 6th grader. We have been so fortunate to become apart of the Meraki Mentorship program. My son is working with a mentor who is completely dedicated to his academic and emotional success. She has done an amazing job of connecting with him and he looks forward to meeting with her weekly. She is very dependable and has never missed a session. This year science has been his most difficult subject. She had created a plan that not only makes sure he can read all of the material he is learning but has prepared him for all his test. He currently has an A in this class. I’m most grateful that she has connected with him emotionally and he comfortable sharing his struggles with her. She constantly provides verbal praise and encourages him to try his best. Also my son looks forward to the monthly meetings with all of the other students in the program. It’s becoming one of his favorite monthly events. I would highly recommend this program for any student who is in need of some extra academic help along with some emotional support during such a difficult time."
- Michelle Davis, mother of Chase.
My 13 year old son is a recipient of the Meraki Mentorship program which is very beneficial to his needs. He wasn't progressing as I felt he should therefore I enrolled him in the program. For the first time, he started feeling successful and actually enjoy school and learning.His homework habits and learning has improved dramatically. He is no longer reluctant to do his work and is more confident with an increased self esteem. He no longer has homework reminders or asks his teacher for extension to finish his work. He and his mentor Kelly has an exceptional rapport with. The time spent is not just about doing school, they play fun games and talk about things that interests him. My son always looks forward to meeting every week. I am very grateful to Meraki Mentorship for helping my son enjoy learning in a fun-filled environment.
- Marva Telemaque, mother of Jacob.
FOR STUDENT'S WITH LDs
We all remember Walt Disney for his legacy in the animation industry. Today, everyone will agree that Mr. Disney was a very bright man with breathtaking imagination and remarkable entrepreneurship skills. However, when Mr. Disney was young, he had many difficulties with learning due to his dyslexia. Troubled by letters, Walt Disney infused his emotions into cartoons and revolutionized the whole animation industry.
When you think of Science, you probably immediately think of Albert Einstein. However, growing up, Mr. Einstein struggled with reading and writing. Words were his enemies and his studies were the cause of his exhaustion...but today, he is the founder of some of the most influential theories that have changed our whole understanding of the world.
Agatha Christie was a famous mystery-book writer who struggled with dysgraphia and perhaps dyslexia. As a child, she couldn't read or write properly. However, with perseverance and passion, she was able to become a world-renowned writer.
These people have changed the course of our world by looking at it through a different lens. Their peers and family may have not understood them, however with their perseverance and passion, they were able to emerge as winners.
These stars prove to us that children with learning disabilities are just as capable as other children. Here, we believe that all our students are capable of powerful change as they are our future. Thus, we aim to give them our absolute best guidance and provide them with excellent academic and emotional support.
FOR STUDENTS FROM MINORITY GROUPS
Our team recognizes how systemic racism affects minorities across the world. We also understand that the distribution of resources is not equal across all groups of people in society. Our team members strongly believe in equity and are committed to providing mentoring that can achieve this goal. We hope to see large diversity and equity in our next generation, thus we hope that our mentorship program can contribute to this goal.
FOR STUDENTS FROM IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
Our team is a very diverse one with many mentors coming from immigrant families. We understand how overwhelming it can be to come and adapt to a new nation. It can especially be difficult for children to adapt to a new educational system, new cultural values, a new environment, and a new group of people. We want to support children during this transition through our mentorship program by providing them our best academic and emotional support.
WHAT IS THE PEER MENTORSHIP PROGRAM?
We are a group of passionate individuals who want to help the younger generation of students cope with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We feel that it is our duty to assist our communities whilst still abiding by social distancing rules. As a result, our compassionate mentors are offering personalized online mentorship for disabled children between the ages of 4 to 10.
I SENT AN EMAIL, WHEN WILL I HEAR BACK?
Response times may vary depending on the time and nature of the email. However, please be assured that we aim to respond to all inquiries within 3-4 days of submission.
HOW LONG DO SESSIONS LAST AND ARE THEY FREE?
Currently, we are anticipating that each session will last up to an hour. All sessions are entirely free-of-charge! We are simply a group of individuals who want to help you and make a difference in the community!
HOW DOES THE SESSION WORK?
After receiving your submission, we will match you with our best possible team member. We will then facilitate an introductory meeting between our mentor, you, your child, and a member from our executive team. Following that, your child will work one on one with our mentor on any specific content that you would like. The Executive Team will keep in touch to make sure that everything is going smoothly.
HOW ARE THESE SESSIONS TAILORED?
All sessions will be tailored to the student based on their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. For example...
Kento is a 6 year old student struggling with dyslexia. He struggles with language comprehension. He loves Disney movies.
Our plan for this student would be to focus on establishing clear learning goals. We would also work on making sure that our mentee clearly understands all learning expectations of his homework in each session. We will especially follow appropriate learning approaches for students with dyslexia (ex: using graphics to aid language comprehension). We would also attempt to make our sessions more enjoyable by linking topics of the mentee’s homework to Disney. Furthermore, near the end of our sessions, we would include fun Disney story videos before asking the mentee to explain what happened – this will let him practice language comprehension in a fun way.
A timeline of this session may look like:
First 5 minutes of mentoring session: Ask Kento about his day, what he has been up to, and what homework he needs help with.
Next 5 minutes: Establish clear learning goals and tasks for the next 50 minutes.
Next 30-35 minutes of mentoring session: Help Kento with his homework.
Last 15-20 minutes: Disney story activity