Editor’s Note: SOURCE and the MetroWest Chamber have formed a partnership. The Chamber’s column will run on Tuesdays on the digital news media outlet. This week’s column comes from the Mazie Mentoring Program, a member of the Chamber.
FRAMINGHAM – The Mazie Mentoring Program helps aspiring Framingham, Waltham, and Marlborough high school students set and achieve goals, graduate from high school, prepare to apply to college or other post-secondary training, and experience success.
The Mazie Mentoring Program fulfills the legacy of John Andrew Mazie, a man who was a
mentor to many young people before tragically dying in a car accident. In his honor, his parents Barbara and Lowell Mazie created the Mazie Mentoring Program. Since its foundation in 1998, the Mazie Mentoring Program has served over 900 students in both Framingham and Waltham High Schools.
As of September 2019, a third program began at Marlborough High School.
As of July 1, 2017, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest began managing the
Mazie Mentoring Program. Although the Mazie Mentoring Program remains a separate
organization with its own Federal Tax ID number, the combined organizations can reduce back-
office expenses and expand their programs into other schools.
The program recruits and trains adult volunteers to mentor and act as role models for high
school students at risk of not reaching their full potential. Its objective is to provide young people with the support to help them achieve their goals and succeed.
The Mazie Mentoring Program feels it is extremely important for the mentees to learn how to set goals and make the commitments required to achieve them. Mentors work with their mentees to establish three sets of goals during the first year of the program. Students commit to an academic goal, such as improving their grades or applying to internships, then document the milestones they reach along the way. Participants develop a post-graduation plan as well, such as attending college, joining the military, or seeking vocational training.
This past year, the program hosted many virtual events to continually engage the high school
students with their mentors, despite social distancing. The virtual events included a financial aid
seminar, financial literacy class, yoga and meditation session, trivia nights as well as our virtual
graduation ceremony for the high school seniors graduating from the Mazie program and high
Every year, we have matches who are diligent in their growth and we would like to highlight two of those matches. One of our matches struggled to get on the same page about the mentee’s future.
For the mentee, taking a gap year seemed like a great option; he could save money for college, live on his own and get accustomed to being a responsible adult, however his mentor thought it would be wise to go straight to college upon graduating high school. Through numerous meetings, research, and conversations with their program manager, the mentee decided to go straight to college in the fall, found and moved into his own apartment, started a full-time job, and has started prioritizing self-care.
The second match, worked together to get the best financial aid package possible for the mentee to attend college. Through the mentee’s hard work and positive impact on her peers and teachers they chose her to be the recipient of a scholarship to attend Framingham State University free of charge for her freshman year!
We have seen firsthand the impact that mentoring has on young people. Our Mazie students,
through working with their mentor, gain the confidence they need to try new things.
With this confidence, we see astonishing rates of success. 96% of our students graduate high school, 89% go on to higher education, and 83% of students state that they have a better attitude towards school after 1 year.
More importantly, our students learn how to navigate life and to advocate for themselves. Being a Mazie mentor allows you to make a huge difference in the life of a high school student.
Being a mentor will also change your life! In exit interviews with Mentors who completed their 3-year Mentee relationships, they reported increased awareness and respect for people from
different backgrounds and feeling part of a wider community. Mentors recognized that they
could make a difference while developing new friendships and relationships. They gained a new perspective in understanding other life experiences that are different and more difficult than their own. They come that teens these days face difficulties and complexities they do not feel they had to face.
To become a mentor in the Mazie Mentoring Program, you must be at least 21 years of age and a high school graduate. You also must commit to meeting with your mentee for an average of 8 hours per month so you can make a positive impact on that young teen’s life.
Your responsibilities to your mentee will include guiding their personal development, exposing them to different activities and experiences, and providing support for their academic pursuits. A major focus is supporting them in completing the Goal Award Program.
Mentors also assist mentees in the college preparation process as well as introduce them to the world of careers and jobs.
The Mazie Mentoring Program has produced many rewarding and long-lasting relationships for students and adults alike. If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor, contact Courtney Evans at Courtney.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Mazie program website.