Cardinal Opportunities

Cardinal Opportunities is a mentoring program supported by the community at large, the Upper Dublin Education Foundation and Upper Dublin School District. The objective of the program is to provide Upper Dublin High School and Middle School students a better chance to succeed with the assistance of supportive, objective and caring adults.

Upper Dublin High School and Sandy Run Middle School along with the Education Foundation match students with community volunteer mentors. The mentors help the mentees (students) prepare for the world of high school, post-secondary education or employment.

The goals of this program include: empowering students to use their potential, exposing students to options and opportunities, helping students focus on the future, assisting students in exploring realistic goals, helping students develop self-esteem and encouraging enriching experiences

Program Contacts

Leslie Nylund

Email: jbnylund@verizon.net

John Tralie

Phone: 215-643-8900
Email: jtralie@udsd.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:

WHAT OR WHO IS A MENTOR?

Answer:

A mentor is an adult interested in helping a high school student prepare for post-secondary education or a career or a adult who will spend time with middle school students who are not adjusting well to their school environment and need to belong to a group in which they feel comfortable. At the High School a mentor is matched with a student and may provide many forms of support, some of which are listed below. • Advice and support in decision-making • Encouraging responsibility for decisions • Academic and intellectual direction • Career advice and experience • Friendship, understanding, and caring; a listening ear • Encouragement and praise • Confidence building • What does a mentor do? A mentor meets at least once monthly with the student and stays in touch through phone calls and notes. The pair may go to events, museums, movies, or out to eat to talk about what is happening in the student’s life and what concerns he or she may have. The mentor may suggest and help arrange opportunities to learn about careers or educational opportunities. At the Middle School a mentor comes in to the school two to three times week for lunch and/or after school group programs. It's a socialization and self esteem building initiative. PARENTS: A mentor does not take the place of a parent but acts as an additional adult whose experience can benefit the student in making good decisions. Students may only participate with the permission and cooperation of a parent or guardian. BENEFITS: Mentors have the opportunity to gain satisfaction from helping someone else attain their goals. They also are contributing to the community and can have some fun with other volunteer mentors and students. DESCRIPTION: Mentors are adults who have an interest in connecting generations, as well as a respect for young people. They have a willingness to get involved in someone else’s life. Provide support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples in order to help a young person achieve. They serve as a positive role model sharing their life experiences to make a difference in a child’s life. There is no profile of an ideal mentor. Each relationship builds on its own strengths and develops its own characteristics. What may be effective for one mentor and student may be modified to accommodate another.

Question:

HOW DOES A STUDENT GET INTO THE PROGRAM?

Answer:

The program is designed for students who exhibit academic potential, a need for additional direction and a desire to succeed. Students are nominated to the program by teachers, counselors, parents or guardians, or themselves. Students who participate are expected to: •make sincere efforts to do well in school •ask for help when needed •keep appointments or return emails or phone calls from mentors •have some fun while benefiting from the mentor’s experience