Waterbury Mentor Program

Think back to your own childhood.  Was there someone in your life who encouraged you?  Who believed in you?  Who made you realize you could reach for the stars?  Now is the perfect time to fulfill that role in the life of a Waterbury Public School student.

All it takes is one hour each week to begin making a difference.   A recent evaluation of the mentor program at Driggs School showed some remarkable results:  all of the students who participated in a full year's program made improvements in reading and most made improvements in math. 

Benefits to Mentors

Mentors make a difference in the lives of at-promise youth. In return, they receive many personal benefits as a result. Mentors report:

  • happier when they return to work
  • fulfilled with their volunteer commitment
  • come away with a greater understanding of the educational system
  • develop a greater appreciation for students and for members of other ethnic groups
  • feel better about themselves
  • get along better with their own families
  • appreciate their own lives and life experiences more
  • often become better employees


Benefits to Companies Participating in Mentor Programs


What makes a company or business agree to release workers for volunteer time or otherwise support mentoring programs in the community? Besides establishing their commitment to society and to the education of the city’s youth, businesses also benefit by:

  • increased productivity of the volunteers
  • increased positive exposure within the school community
  • increased awareness of community and educational issues
  • indirectly strengthening the local economy
  • participating in the creation of a better prepared workforce for tomorrow


The Benefit to Youth:


Some of the reported benefits to youth include:

  • a 2004 study of students at Driggs School that had a mentor for a full year under the Waterbury Public Schools mentoring program found that ALL students improved in reading and most improved in math even though this is not a "tutoring" program
  • A 2003 study of close to 500 mentoring pairs conducted by the Connecticut Mentoring Partnership showed that youth with mentors say they have a better attitude at school, are getting better grades, are behaving better in class and are well-prepared for school every day
  • A Public/Private ventures study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters found that youth who were in a mentored relationship for a year were 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, and 37% less likely to skip class 


Other Studies Report:

  • Employees who mentor say 98% are satisfied with the experience, 99% believe their company should invest in youth (their future workforce), 89% said the mentoring program made them proud to work for their company , and 63% said they feel more productive at work after mentoring
  • Volunteers who mentor often say they get as much or more out of the experience as the child they are mentoring does

The Benefit to You?

All mentors will benefit from realizing that they have taken one small but important step to improve the world around them by stopping to help another person who needs that little bit of extra help to reach his or her full potential.

Our schools need caring adult volunteers who are willing to spend some time with a child who may be struggling, or shy, or just in need of a little coaching to help him or her reach full potential.  There are a number of programs both in our schools and out in the community that work with youth and provide mentoring to youth.  To find out more about these programs, download a mentoring program directory brochure benefits fact sheet



one-to-one mentoring, primarily in elementary grades, Waterbury Public Schools, one hour per week, on school grounds during school day ONLY

To learn more about the Waterbury Mentor Program, which pairs caring adult volunteers one-to-one with at-promise youth, click here

To learn more about the program if you are a parent and believe your child could benefit (Waterbury Public School students only), click here for an information sheet or an application to enroll a student to be mentored. 

If you are a teacher in the Waterbury Public Schools and feel you have a student in your classroom who could benefit, click here for more information or a referral form.   

Please consider volunteering today - contact Nancy Vaughan at 203 573-6633 or email her at nvaughan@waterbury.k12.ct.us to learn more.  

To apply today, please download a Waterbury Mentor Program volunteer application, fill it out and mail it to Nancy Vaughan, School / Community Relations Coordinator at 236 Grand Street, Room 341, Waterbury, CT 06702.  

Waterbury Public Schools
236 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Phone: (203) 574-8000

Fax: (203) 574-8010