Press Pass Mentors
- District of Columbia
Press Pass Mentors is a nonprofit organization that pairs professional journalists with low-income high school juniors and seniors in Washington D.C. to help them become great writers, equipping students with the communication skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.
At the core, Press Pass Mentors is a college access program designed to help students improve their writing in order to succeed in college and beyond. Our overarching goal is to help virtually all of our students to graduate from high school and attend a two or four year college. Along the way we expect students to improve their writing and perform at least at their grade level by the time they graduate our program, as well as improve on average by 30 points from their PSAT writing score (before the program begins) to their final SAT writing score.
PPM currently operates as a mentoring program with four key components:
1) One-on-One Mentoring – Each student in the program is paired in a one-on-one relationship with a professional journalist. These mentors commit to working with students on a weekly basis to prepare them for the writing assignments on the road to college.
2) Unique Events – Mentors lead our students on field trips to places that are usually only accessible to journalists, exposing them to opportunities beyond southeast DC. In the past year, we have taken the students to places like the Kennedy Center and an NBA locker room.
3) Writing Focus – Following each event, the students are assigned to write pieces about these experiences that mirror the major writing tasks on the road to college: the persuasive essay portion of the SAT, college personal statements and scholarship essays. Their work is then published on our Web site at presspassmentors.org.
4) Scholarships – We award each of our graduates $2,000 to cover some college costs.