Gonzaga Youth Mentoring Programs Recognized


January 17, 2018

Gonzaga News Service 

SPOKANE, Wash. – MENTOR Washington has recognized Gonzaga University’s Center for Community Engagement’s Youth Mentoring Programs with the qualification of “expert partner.” The qualification results from a rigorous, guided evaluation process based on national research and experienced practitioner insight.

Gonzaga’s youth mentoring programs Campus Kids, Connections, GAME, and Sparks are included in the designation. The programs serve youth in Northeast Spokane schools.

  • Campus Kids pairs GU student mentors with elementary-school youth for relationship-building, homework help, group activities and reflection, as well as quarterly family events.
  • Connections supports youth in their transitions into middle school.
  • GAME partners with two middle schools and uses group activities, athletics, and reflection as an avenue to support students and build relationships.
  • Sparks connects GU students with high-school students to promote leadership and explore college and career options.

“Our students and staff work incredibly hard to make sure our mentoring programs are high quality and carried out with fidelity to best practices in the field, ensuring our youth and college students have positive experiences and outcomes,” said Bailley Wootton, associate director of the CCE. “This designation recognizes these efforts and our commitment.”

CCE completed an in-depth national self-assessment in the National Quality Mentoring System and implements 100 percent of its outlined best practices. Seven out of nearly 100 mentoring programs in Washington have achieved the expert partner qualification in the first four years of MENTOR Washington.

In rigorous studies, mentoring conducted in high quality programs reduced juvenile delinquency and crime; improved school attendance, grades and high school graduation rates; improved mental health; and lowered the risk of youth involvement in such risky behaviors as drugs, and alcohol and tobacco use.

The CCE connects Gonzaga with local, regional and global partners to positively transform students and communities. Honoring the Jesuit commitment to social justice and solidarity, CCE partners with staff, faculty and the community to develop relationships that meet community needs and promote social change. The CCE also offers the youth development programs Eye to Eye, Smile, and Zag Study Buddies, and is involved in other initiatives including the Hillyard Youth Collaborative.

MENTOR Washington is one of 28 statewide capacity-building nonprofits dedicated to expanding the number of youth mentored, building best practices in youth mentoring programs, and implementing research-based innovations. 

For more information, please contact Bailley Wootton, associate director of the CCE, at (509) 313-6821 or at wootton@gonzaga.edu.