MARQUETTE, Mich.–A full-time AmeriCorps member is stationed at Northern Michigan University’s School of Education, Leadership and Public Service this year. Recent NMU graduate Brooke Tellefsen is working with Marquette County high school counselors and administrators to enhance the quality and quantity of youth mentoring relationships. The goal is to increase college-going rates and career readiness among K-12 youth who are from low-income families or are first-generation college students.
Tellefsen will recruit NMU teacher candidates to lead their college peers in mentoring youth who are not receiving services from other agencies. They will help with completing post-secondary applications and FAFSA forms, facilitate on-site college classroom shadowing in small groups, arrange structured interviews with faculty and students in academic areas of interest and plan large-group events.
“Brooke is working to recruit a minimum of 50 high school students into post-secondary education,” said Joe Lubig of NMU’s School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. “This is a campus-wide effort supported by the provost. We have the position for one year with the potential to renew it next fall if things go well.”
Lubig said NMU is formally partnering with Marquette Alternative High School and NICE Community Schools (Westwood High School). Tellefsen also has spoken to the guidance counselor at Negaunee High School about helping out there on a short-term basis.
“I’m so pleased to be working with Dr. Lubig and the School of Education on this initiative,” Tellefsen said. “The staff and administration at the public schools have been very welcoming and enthusiastic about our partnership and I know we will achieve success with this program. Access to post-secondary education is crucial for today’s youth and I’m so excited to be able to help facilitate the high school-to-college transition.”
The Mentoring to Access Corps (MAC) AmeriCorps program is offered by the Michigan Nonprofit Association in partnership with Mentor Michigan and Michigan Campus Compact. Thirty-five AmeriCorps members have been placed at colleges, universities and youth mentoring programs statewide with the goal of impacting more than 1,200 K-12 youth by exposing them to college access and career-readiness resources.