Gifted Girls of Grace: Mini’s seeks to uplift young girls (ages 5-11) by creating and promoting fun and engaging activities that foster sisterhood, profound character development, and etiquette through arts, culture, and exposure to various enrichment opportunities. Gifted Girls of Grace: Mini’s matches undergraduate young women from Spelman College with elementary school students in one-to-one relationships for an academic semester. Through these relationships, as well as recreational and group activities, our matches share friendship, support, and fun. In addition to monthly activity meetings held at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, mentors and mentees will get together at least once a month. Both mentors and mentees make a commitment to spend time together throughout the academic year. They can participate in activities that they both enjoy. The mentors are not private tutors, although sometimes pairs decide to work on homework together. We plan social group activities on a monthly basis that are open to all participants. We are also available at all times to answer questions, offer support and help matches work through challenges that may arise.
Recruitment of Mentors and Mentees
Mentors complete a written application, including two references. They then participate in a one-onone interview with a Steering Committee Member, at which time they learn about the program in detail, and we get to know them and their background. After completing the interview process, the mentor must attend a training session. Mentees also complete a written application, which includes a parent/guardian consent form. We ask that parents attend an orientation held during the beginning of the academic semester to receive more information about the program and our guidelines.
The Steering Committee matches mentors and mentees based on shared interests, personality, and, if it is important to the mentee, cultural background. Unfortunately, we are not always able to match everyone who applies. This happens for many reasons, but the most common are that we simply do not have equal numbers of mentors and mentees. If a student is not matched, please understand that it is not because he/she is "unsuitable" for the program. They will be placed on our waiting list, and as soon as an opportunity arises for them to be involved, we will contact them. If a student is matched, their mentor will contact them by phone to let them know, and will host a special activity at Hollis Innovation Academy where they will be introduced to their mentor.
After Students Are Matched
After students are matched, they will meet with their mentor at least once a month for 2-3 hours. They can meet at Hollis Innovation Academy, at home or Spelman College. Parent consent must be given for all activities matches participate in. As the mentors are volunteers, it is important that the mentee and the mentor are both respectful of the other’s time.
We host social activities about once a month. These activities give us a chance to get together and have fun! Along with program-wide activities, our Steering Committee members coordinate other events throughout the semester for smaller groups of pairs. This is to encourage a sense of community within in our program and creates a chance for our participants to get to know each other better. We really want to hear from mentees about what they would like to do.