YONKERS, N.Y. -- Dozens of adults from around Westchester County are set to volunteer as "graduation coaches" for Yonkers Public Schools students.
The volunteer effort is part of the Yonkers Partners In Education (YPIE) Scholars Program and includes more than 70 volunteers working in the school-based mentoring program.
The coaches will be paired with ninth-grade students throughout their four years of high school, meeting one-on-one with each student, twice monthly.
More than 150 ninth-graders are enrolled in the program during the inaugural year. The program will officially begin in February when the students will meet their graduation coaches for the first time. Coaches will spend time getting to know the interests, backgrounds and goals of the students they are mentoring and provide personalized support to help them set academic and career goals, navigate success during the high school years and apply to and complete a post-secondary education, representatives said.
"The overall goal of the YPIE Scholars Program is to improve college and career readiness among Yonkers Public Schools students and to help them achieve success in a post-secondary program whether a vocational certificate, or a two or four-year college degree,” said YPIE Executive Director Wendy Nadel.
"You have the opportunity to change the lives of so many students in the YPS,” said Superintendent of Schools Bernard Pierorazio, .
Palisade Prep High School Principal Michelle Yazurlo also said it was "so important to raise expectations. If you grab their hearts, their minds will follow."