May Newsletter

Read on for the May 2024 newsletter content

By the end of May, mentees will be equipped to:

Plan to attend the SOY Graduation Celebration on May 9


Decide if mentor will attend the mentee's school graduation

Some schools have ticket limitations while others don't. Chat as a match about the mentee prefers and makes sense!

Celebrate together as a match!

Head to a favorite dinner spot, day-trip somewhere, or picking out a gift. As always, mentor should be comfortable setting a reasonable budget for this

If you found out you won't be able to graduate. . .

There could have been a variety of things that came up this year that made it challenging to stay on track.

Next steps you should consider…

  • Talk to your school counselor or dean (mentors: helping to set this up or joining for this meeting can be really helpful). Double check that they do not have an option to still graduate on time. Lots of schools do have senior recovery options or teachers are willing to work with a student.
  • If graduating this month is not an option, get a clear answer during that meeting as to your options. Schools should have summer resources for making up credits or be able to point you to alternative school programs that can help you finish as soon as possible.
  • Decide as a match what is helpful for you to continue to pursue your goals and wrap up high school. Is it encouragement, talking to your parent, accountability, etc.?

"What Should I Be Doing This Summer?"

Great question! Next steps depend on what you are planning to do this fall, so we will outline some possible next steps. No matter which path you are taking, you will meet with your Mentoring Specialist for a goal setting, closure, or transition meeting.

If you're going straight into the workforce or a job training program

Are you doing this through a formal program like Job Corp or Goodwill industries? If so, make sure you are aware of start dates, who your contact person is, and any additional paperwork or next steps they need from you.

If you're starting trade school or a certificate program

For those of you who are starting a trade school or certificate program, there are 3 important steps to take:

  1. Triple check if the program qualifies for financial aid (some do and some don’t). If it does, make sure you have filled out the 2024-2025 FAFSA form as this can provide you with free money. Review the January Newsletter for more FAFSA information.
  2. If your program does not qualify for financial aid, ask your contact if there are other funding sources you should apply for (many qualify for state funding). Make sure you have a plan for any remaining fees/balance that won’t be covered by other aid options.
  3. Write down starts dates, reminders, and any other next steps you have. This will prepare you to start off strong.
If you're headed to college (two-year or four-year)

Going to college is both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. Follow these tips to start off well:

  • Have you applied and been accepted to a school? Have you decided which one you are wanting to attend and told them? You still have time to apply to metro or community colleges.
  • Make sure you have completed the 2024-2025 FAFSA (or CASFA if you don’t have a social security number). There have been MANY obstacles with the roll-out of an entirely new form this year. So even if you think you have filled it out, triple check by logging into your FAFSA account and seeing what your “status” is. It should say something like “complete,” “processing,” or “processed.” If it says “action needed” or “error,” review and take needed action right away.
  • Schools you applied to should be sending you award offers by now. You need to review those decide where you want to attend. These can be confusing, so check out the video in this article for an explanation of what to pay attention to. Angela is also happy to review them with you to make sure you are making an informed decision.
  • Sign up for an orientation date. These are usually on campus and are where you will go on a tour, sign up for classes, review financial aid, and get a lot of other helpful tips and resources. If a mentor and/or parent can attend with a mentee, that is super helpful! These are usually scheduled through your school portal.
  • Save Our Youth will be hosting one final meeting for those planning on college towards the end of July. This will give you lots of insight and tips to make sure your first year of college is a success! Stay tuned for details.
If you're entering the military

If you have not already, talk to a local recruiter. They are your go to person to help get you started and take all necessary next steps. It’s also important that you have clarity.

Don’t be afraid to talk to more than one person and ask lots of specific questions. You want to make sure you fully understand what is being asked of you and you are committing to. Recruiters jobs are to recruit, so they can be somewhat “sales-y” at times. Bringing your mentor with you to a conversation can be helpful!

If you are taking a gap year

If you are not ready to jump into any of the above options, a gap year may be a good choice for you. At Save Our Youth, we would love to keep encouraging you and coming alongside you. As long as you and your mentor are open to still meeting, we would love to continue working with you! Your Mentoring Specialist will sit down for a goal setting to map out this next year. We want this time to be strategic, so be thinking about where you’d like to be in a year, and we will talk through what steps over the course of the next year will help make sure you get there!

If you're still undecided

If you are still undecided or have not done some of the steps above, it is not too late! You can still apply to community colleges (which is always a great option) and you can still fill out the FAFSA to get financial aid. As a match, continue discussing what would help you make a decision (I.e. Do you need to shadow someone in a certain career? Check out a college campus together? Buckle down and get that application turned in?)

Together, come up with a game plan. Angela and your Mentoring Specialist have lots of resources and are always willing to help.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out any previous newsletter if you need to explore different paths, get a refresher on how to apply for FAFSA, find scholarship websites, and more.

Coming Up at Save Our Youth

Our Graduation Celebration is right around the corner. Don't miss it!

Next Steps. . .

Sometime between May and August, mentees will determine next steps with Save Our Youth. Options include transferring to scholars, staying open for a strategic gap year, or formally closing the mentoring match (we encourage matches to stay in touch informally). Please talk to your Mentoring Specialist if you have any questions about next steps.