Funds from the Get Grounded Foundation will support Denver Urban Scholars Ropes Course

January 14th, 2019

Denver Urban Scholars’ Community Mentoring Program is designed to focus on students in order to increase high school graduation rates, support college and career readiness, provide social-emotional support to reduce delinquency, build positive relationships, and develop skills in areas such as conflict resolution, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.

The process for pairing students with a new mentor includes three components based on the Elements of Effective Mentoring: Pairing Day, Match Night, and a Ropes Course activity. The Pairing Day includes separate training curriculum for students and mentors, as well as facilitated mingling for students and new mentors to get acquainted.  After this day, our program staff matches mentors and students based on their preferences and other information that is pertinent to successful matches (geographic location, availability, activity and personality preferences).  New student-mentor matches are revealed at Match Night, where the new pairs get to know each other a bit more and set goals for the year.

After being matched, the new pairs are invited to participate in a full-day Ropes Course activity combined with facilitated dialogue and relationship building activities.  Through the Ropes Course activities, new matches are pushed out of their comfort zones together while also having fun.  To complete the physical obstacles on the ropes course, pairs learn to work together and build trust in one another.  Doing the Ropes Course shortly after matching gives pairs a chance to develop a deeper, more powerful bond at the very start of their relationship. 

The Get Grounded Foundation provided funding to support the Ropes Course program for new matches in the 2018-19 school year.  This grant covers two Ropes Course programs, including one in Fall 2018 and one in Spring 2019.  The group of students and mentors that participated in the Fall Ropes Course thoroughly enjoyed their experience and felt that it helped them form lasting bonds in their new mentor/mentee.

“The Ropes Course was the perfect way to launch our new mentee-mentor relationship,” said Sean Kulzer, Fall 2018 Denver Urban Scholars Mentor. “We are able to push each other outside of our comfort zones and we felt connected alongside the greater Denver Urban Scholars community. It was a big step in learning trust and communication which will undoubtedly make a lasting impact on our mentee-mentor relationships.”

Denver Urban Scholars looks forward to our next round of pairing students with mentors and the spring 2019 Ropes Course.  We still have over 100 students on our wait list to be matched.  We are seeking about 40 new mentors for the spring pairing events. If you have ever thought about mentoring as a way to get more involved with our community, please check out our Mentor Information page and reach out to Jan Maggard (janm@denverurbanscholars.org) if you have any questions.