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Lowell launch party for Takeoff Space where we did most of the shooting for our video. Photo Credit : Sim Dy

Recruitment for undergraduate mentors

We have already started building an excellent team, including several student mentors, as can be seen on our team page. Takeoff Space will appoint further staff as needed (one mentor for two high-school students) to conduct an initial six week program to host approximately 12 high-school junior students on campus for weekly afternoon sessions of three-hours each. Each session will include a minimum of one hour during which undergraduate mentors will sit down with participants to review college application choices and work on applications. Training will be provided to undergraduate staff who will follow a systematic approach to helping participants screen according to their interests, qualifications, and financial aid needs. Note will be taken of application requirements, including testing, essay writing, and financial reporting, to ensure optimal preparation and organization of applications. Undergraduate staff will spend the rest of the time on a variety of activities, including visits to the Admissions Office and a variety of departments and labs, and enrichment activities designed to foster experience of the college curriculum, inventiveness, and enterprise. Each session will end with dining, preferably in a group setting where participants can interact with a variety of ¬†students. In addition, undergraduate staff will visit their mentee’s family in Lowell on one occasion and accompany mentees to one or two off-campus activities such as a visit to a museum or to a Boston Symphony Orchestra youth performance. Mentors will communicate with mentees in-between meetings to encourage them with college admissions research and occasionally offer help with school homework. They will research issues related to admissions and prepare a plan¬†for each week’s meeting. Total weekly work will be in the range of 5-10 hours and will be paid with federal work-study funds, subject to agreement with campus authorities. Applicants for mentor positions should be undergraduates in their first three years of study, have applied to college as US residents, and be eligible to be paid through federal work-study. Desired qualifications include: Strong organizational skills, self-discipline, a commitment to helping others and ability to develop empathy, enthusiasm and a sense of humor.

Recruitment for local student staff

We will be recruiting university or college students living locally to our high-school participants for part-time employment to support our mentoring activities for gifted disadvantaged youth. Duties will focus on liaison with high-school student participants and their families to ensure that families are aware of the nature and progress of the program and support the academic efforts and aspirations of their children. Staff will also encourage parents to visit their children’s counselors at their high school and help facilitate such meetings. In addition to offering friendship and encouragement, staff will also monitor family environments and report on any areas of concern. These positions are expected to occupy 8-10 hours weekly. Desired qualifications include: Strong organizational skills, self-discipline, a commitment to helping others and ability to develop empathy, and show enthusiasm and a sense of humor. Knowledge of the local community and relevant language skills will be appreciated. Given the desire to help families work with their children’s school, we will give preference to graduates of the same high school as our high-school participants.