C4K is committed to enhancing the lives of Charlottesville’s youth through STEM education and mentoring. To do this, we must maintain connections and relevance to middle school participants and beyond.
We recently researched and engaged with stakeholders, including members, parents, mentors, and existing/potential partner organizations, to identify ways to improve member engagement. We found that members wanted more intentional skill building, opportunities to build relationships with other participants, and a clear path for continued participation after their 1:1 mentoring match ended.
In response to our stakeholders’ feedback, C4K is moving from a rolling match system to a cohort model, with one cohort beginning in the fall and one in the spring. Mentor-member matches will be made at the beginning of the semester, allowing the cohort to build strong peer and mentor relationships and learn new skills while developing their individual projects.
The match is one academic semester (August – December, January- May) with approximately 20 hours of mentored time. Upon completion, the members will earn a refurbished laptop and be given a clear path to continued participation in C4K programming.
The cohort model offers several benefits, including:
- Built-in social experiences: Members will participate in orientation, pitch night, team-building activities, and project presentations with their cohort. These activities will help them build relationships with other members and mentors.
- Skill-building: Members will choose three STEAM disciplines to focus on and develop skills in those areas with their mentors.
- Shorter commitment: The 1:1 match is one semester instead of a year, which allows more youth and mentors to participate.
- Streamlined process: The cohort model will provide a more consistent member/mentor experience and increased staff capacity.
C4K is excited to launch the cohort model and believes it will help us empower the next generation with the skills and connections they need for success in school and beyond.
If you want to learn more about the cohort model, please contact Mykaela Cali.
We will be announcing more initiatives soon. Stay tuned for details!