$5,000 – Education Foundation of Teton Valley
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to award a $5,000 grant to the Education Foundation of Teton Valley to expand successful in-school coaching and create a complimentary mentorship component that provides students with the knowledge and community support they need for success in life. The Community Foundation strongly supports this program as it prepares students for career and life choices after high school.
Student needs do not operate in a vacuum. When a student enters their teenage years (middle and high school), they are asked to tackle increasingly demanding academics, build a social life, and determine who and what they want to become as an adult. But there are additional challenges facing the children in the Teton Valley community that can affect how much support they have in preparing for the transition from student to adult. Students are also facing: increased mental health challenges in the wake of the pandemic; poverty; limited parental support; counselor capacity; and minimal support structures. Given these factors, there is a substantial need to provide additional support to students to assist them in navigating and making choices both in their careers and life.
The Education Foundation of Teton Valley is poised to leverage its strong collaborative relationship with the Teton School District and build innovative support structures that engage untapped community resources and connect them to the students who need it most. This grant will support the second phase of the Education Foundation of Teton Valley’s Bound for Success program to enhance the skills and motivation necessary for success in life beyond high school. Eventually combining coaching, mentoring, and a peer network to effectively address the needs and gaps in services for students by building upon the strengths in our local school district and capitalizing on the knowledge in our community to adequately prepare students for college or a career after high school.
More specifically, phase two will expand the coaching component to grow with the year 1 cohort and bring on a year 2 cohort. (This component includes 5-10 weeks of in-school workshops providing students the tools and knowledge they need to navigate post-high school planning). Additionally, the Education Foundation of Teton Valley will design, finalize, and implement a small-scale community mentorship component that serves some year 1 and 2 cohort students. The mentorship component will include 1-1 mentor connections for upper-grade students; group connections for middle-grade students; schoolyear-long and one-time commitment opportunities for community volunteers: and a mentorship handbook and training for community mentors.
Taking a three-year, three-phase pilot approach will allow the Education Foundation of Teton Valley to take the time needed to build out each component effectively using best practices and aligning components to build upon each other to create a holistic support system that addresses the varied needs of each child and volunteer involved in the program. Time allows the Education Foundation of Teton Valley to build buy-in from community partners crucial to the success of the program and evaluate impact data before expanding.
The Community Foundation commends the important work of the Education Foundation of Teton Valley to expand a successful in-school coaching and mentorship program to provide students with the knowledge and information they need to navigate post-high school education and career choices.