FCPS MentorWorks comes to Jefferson


Fairfax County Public Schools

FCPS MentorWorks is a program to refine the skills of student leaders and make them productive members of the school community. “I’m hoping this program will support and assist students by allowing them to encounter different topics and come up with ideas for our school community,” Ms. Hawkins said.

Aarya Kumar, Online Editor-in-Chief

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) MentorWorks is a program dedicated to refining the skills of student leaders and making them productive members of the school community. 

The Rising Leaders Cohort, the Jefferson section of FCPS MentorWorks, is a program for student leaders to positively impact the Jefferson community. Beginning this year, freshmen students that display leadership promise will work alongside mentors, provided by FCPS and the Bridgepoint Church Community Group. 

“I’m hoping this program will support and assist students by allowing them to encounter different topics and come up with ideas for our school community,” assistant principal Cynthia Hawkins said. 

The program is seen as an opportunity to strengthen community engagement with Jefferson. 

“We were thinking through ways to foster community connection and involvement with our students, so we investigated opportunities to partner with mentors or others that can share their knowledge and expertise,” Hawkins said. 

The program is structured to personalize interaction with students.

“There are both one-on-one and group mentoring opportunities to provide support in different ways,” Hawkins said.

Throughout the course of the program, mentors will attempt to cover 10-12 different kinds of topics.

“The topics cover both school and future-related objectives,” Hawkins said. “For instance, we hope to go over planning, time management, meeting people, first impressions, building relationships and interviewing.”

A goal of the program is for freshmen students to graduate into becoming peer advisors.

“We are starting with freshmen and then expanding the program as we get new freshmen every year. Eventually, we’ll have a program that serves all the grades because current freshmen will progress to peer mentors for the next year’s group,” Ms. Hawkins said.

Student leaders will be selected at the discretion of teachers and counselors.

“We thought about, ‘Who at this point knows the students?'” Hawkins said. “It’s really going to be those IBEST teachers, as well as counselors.”

The partnership with FCPS is vital in recruiting mentors.

“Volunteers are vetted and they go through this entire process with [FCPS] mentor works to be able to come into the schools and then partner up with students or with groups of students,” Hawkins said.

While the program is gearing up for success, it is still in its planning phases.

“We are still collecting the groups of students and making sure they are committed to 8th-period meetings and beyond,” Hawkins said. “Because they are pioneering the program, there’s going to be a component of helping them act as peer mentors.”