Our observed data, coupled with student, parental, teacher, mentor and administrator feedback, affirms we’re making a measurable impact on our students. As a collective team, we’re not only exposing them to life changing events, but equally important, equipping them to make well thought-out personal, academic and conscious choices.
We’ve observed students demonstrating improved self-confidence, goal-orientation and hope (optimism). We’ve also observed greater accountability, social awareness and a better understanding of how bad behavior impacts their long-term aspirations. While the long-term group data regarding improvements in academics and discipline are still being collected, we believe changing all the aforementioned factors will influence results and have many individual success stories to share.
Programs and Initiatives Completed
- Completed In-Person Mentoring Sessions
- Virtual Mentoring (After School, Elementary, Middle, and High schools)
- Virtual mentoring (During school Hours)
- Reading Program/Social Emotional learning in Elementary Schools
- MEGA Speakers Bureau- List of 48 Speakers
- MEGA provided grants up to $1,000 to each participating school
- Integrated Technology and Career Exposure Workshop
- Partnered with many schools in supporting school-based initiatives
- MEGA Mentors is supporting Signs and Wonders Ministry in introducing Policy Pathways, Inc.
- Summer 2022 Academy for Policy Leadership and Public Service Online program
- Policy Pathways provides learning experiences that covers
- public policy
- international affairs
- how to become a leader in your community
- Developing Summer IT Workshops with CCPS to introduce students to targeted fields in Information Technology from 7th grade forward
- Completed first summer mentoring sessions
- Total of eighteen (18) “Virtual” Program Sessions were conducted from June 29th through August 3rd of which six (6) each for Elementary, Middle, and High School students
Program Themes For Summer 2021
- Reading Program for Elementary School Students (Grades 3-5): Achievement, Effort, Goal Setting, Respect, Responsibility
- Mentorship Program for Middle School Students (Grades 6-8): Working with Mentors, Financial Management, Life Skills, Respect
- Mentorship Program for High School Students (Grades 9-12): Achievement, Effort, Respect, Responsibility, Goal Setting, Equality and Equity, Confidence, Financial Management, Conflict Resolution
Statistical Results – Summer 2021
- Twenty-eight (28) schools were enrolled in the Summer Programs
- Elementary Schools – 19 or 42%
- Middle Schools – 13 or 29%
- High Schools – 13 or 29%
Integrated Technology (IT) Program
- Trial IT program introduced in the Fall of 2021: 6 weeks partnered with Moore Legacy Foundation (students attended- 4)
- Spring IT Career Exploration Program
- Saturday sessions for 4 weeks taught by IT professionals
- 16 students participated
- 6 MEGA volunteers and Program Director
- One graduating High School Senior was offered a summer internship
- All 16 students received a refurbished laptop
MEGA Art Display and Benefit
- Encourage student participation in the Arts
- Made donation to participating school Art programs
- CCPS students from 3 schools displayed their personal art in MEGA Mentors’ 12th Annual Fine Arts and Benefit Sale (Jan 2022)
- Each participating school was given $500 for their Art Department
- Carver Academy
- James River High School
- Falling Creek
- Each student was recognized and awarded a certificate
- Number of Mentoring and Speaking Sessions – 124
- Number of Mentees – 279
- Number of Volunteer Hours – 20,000 Hours
- In-Person Mentoring Sessions- Attendance Rate- 95%
- Virtual Mentoring (After School)- 30%
- Virtual mentoring (During school)- 92%
MEGA High School Students Tour UR and Black History Museum: MEGA Mentors sponsored the annual merit trip on April 10th for over 20 students from Chesterfield Career and Technical Center at Hull (Academy 360) and Meadowbrook High School to experience University of Richmond (UR) and the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. At their first stop at UR’s Queally Center, administrations intern Cady Green addressed academic, financial and graduation aspects the university could offer. A campus guide then took the group on a detailed tour of the UR facilities where the students gained a general understanding of the school’s advantages. After lunch in the campus dining facilities, the students headed to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia where Ms. Adele Johnson, the museum’s executive director, greeted them with an overview of the center. As the students walked the galleries and studied the various displays and paintings, they gained a better understanding of the footprint African Americans made on the Capital City’s history.
Middle School Students Visit RCC and Monticello: MEGA middle school students embarked on their annual merit trip on April 15th. During their excursion, the students visited Reynolds Community College where they learned about their academic options after high school. The group also traveled to Charlottesville where they visited Monticello, the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. The annual middle and high school trips are part of MEGA’s mission reward student achievement and expose them to experiential activities to broaden their perspectives. To participate, students must meet or exceed goals regarding attendance, grades and disciplinary actions.
Financing the Future with Knowledge: MEGA Mentor Kevin Nicholson spoke with students at Meadowbrook on April 11th as part of MEGA’s Speakers’ Bureau program. Mr. Nicholson spoke about his life’s journey, not being afraid to fail, saving money and careers in financial management. Mr. Nicholson is chief market strategist at RiverFront Investment Group in Richmond.
Recognition Celebration Honors Outstanding Students and Members: Over 350 students, family members, school officials and MEGA members attended the 2019 Excellence Awards and Recognition Celebration which was held on May 30th. This year’s guest speaker was Ms. Christy Coleman, the current CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. Ms. Coleman engaged the crowd with stories of her struggles in deciding a career path and starting over several times before she found her passion in history. “It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do right now,” said Coleman while specifically addressing the students. “Enjoy your youth. Take your time and find your passion. It’s okay to change your mind along the way.”
Annual Membership Meeting Hosted by JTCC: Over 70 members attended MEGA’s Annual Meeting September 17th at John Tyler Community College Midlothian Campus where the president spoke. Members learned about MEGA’s past school year accomplishments and goals for the current school year. Comedian Micah “Bam-Bamm” White hosted a MEGA Mentors edition of the Family Feud game show where attendees learned about MEGA in a fun-charged environment.
2020 Fine Art Benefit and Sale: MEGA Mentors 9th Annual Fine Art Benefit and Sale is being held on Friday, January 17th, 2020. This event will be attended by over 300 patrons and will feature fine art, a silent auction featuring electronic bidding, music by Cloud 9, as well as an assortment of food and beverages.
Updates By School
Ecoff Elementary: Ecoff Elementary Lunch Buddies is off to an outstanding start this 2019-2020 school year! What began as a pilot for MEGA’s Elementary mentoring programming during the 2018-2019 school year has become an exemplary mentoring model for all elementary schools in Chesterfield County. The partnership under the direction of MEGA Liaison Dr. Bobbie Anderson, Ecoff Elementary principal Mrs. Tait, literacy specialist Mrs. Cheatham, and school counselor Mrs. Watts is a joint initiative with Second Baptist Church of Chester.
Harrowgate Elementary: The MEGA Mentors Reading Program at Harrowgate Elementary School was launched the second week in December thanks to the support of Christina Serola, principal; Sharon We bb, literacy specialist and school coordinator; and volunteers from John Tyler Community College. Eight students have mentors to read and talk with during their lunch period. The Harrowgate mentoring team hopes to grow so more students can experience this special time of sharing.
Reams Elementary: Reams Elementary Breakfast Book Buddies launched in November 2019 strategically serving 12 to 16 students each week. Elementary Assistant Principal Kristin Saady and Guidance Counselor Lisa St. Pierre welcomed MEGA Liaison Pastor Daniel Robertson III of Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministry and his team of volunteers. This partnership is a mega opportunity to serve the Reams Elementary community.
Carver Middle: Dr. Anthony McLaurin, new principal at Carver Middle School, embraces the adage “it takes a village…” He partnered with CMS MEGA Mentors, Second Baptist Church, and Signs and Wonders Ministries to kick off the school year with a back-to-school cookout. With the threat of rain and an impending storm, the “village” convened at the Broadwater community to show their care and support to CMS students and families. CMS MEGA Mentors demonstrate the same spirit. For the 2019-2020 school year, they faced the challenge of mentoring sessions being held at the end of the school day. They adjusted their schedules. Eleven mentors returned from last year, and one new mentor joined the team to show their care and support to over 60 mentees.
Falling Creek Middle: The Falling Creek MEGA Mentors team continues a successful program working with new School Coordinator Ashton Bohannon, School Counselor and her supervisor Dr. Pamela Wilkerson, School Counseling Coordinator. This year the 2019-2020 program has 38 students (19 boys and 19 girls). Many of the 7th & 8th grade students are continuing in the program. However, there are 16 brand new 6th graders who have entered the program, and these students are thrilled to have the opportunity to remain a part of MEGA Mentors for the next few years.
Manchester Middle: At Manchester Middle School, we’ve teamed with the school administration and our community partner, Spring Creek Baptist Church to realize our organizational goal. For example, in support of the 30 plus MEGA students and 10 volunteers, Manchester Middle added counseling and administrative support to complement the current school coordinator’s role. Also, in support of the 6th grade community, MEGA funds snacks for the after-school tutoring program that is led by Spring Creek Baptist Church. Mr. David Altizer, Principal of Manchester Middle summed it up best when he said, “You are truly making a difference for our students and our community. We’re encouraged by the progress but are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. It’s our firm belief that “the best is yet to come.”
Providence Middle: For the second time in seven years Providence Middle School was awarded MEGA’s “School of The Year.” Providence had 14 mentors and 49 students of which 75 percent qualified for MEGA’s year-end merit field trip. The school has gone beyond to meet participating student needs and make MEGA’s Mentorship Program inclusive and productive. At the highest levels of the organization, there is unmistakable evidence of personal leadership commitment from Dr. Amanda Voelker, Principal, and Sandra Judge-Harden, Assistant Principal and School Coordinator. Their ongoing cooperation and support are a model for other MEGA schools.
Salem Church Middle: During this past year, the MEGA Mentor team at Salem Church Middle School worked collaboratively with the school coordinator and administration to provide mentoring support for 22 students. We are blessed to have 9 volunteers from our community partner First Baptist Church-Centralia who diligently served as mentors. We are all eager and excited to begin the new year and continue to support our youth.
Meadowbrook High: The Meadowbrook Speakers Bureau continues to enlighten students. This year, professionals in the healthcare and financial industries were featured. At the healthcare session, students were able to learn about the profession’s educational requirements and get a broad perspective on available positions and salary ranges. The financial session attracted 40 students and was hosted by Kevin Nicholson. He shared information on his background, how he landed in finance, and covered the optional careers in the financial industry.
Thomas Dale High: MEGA Mentors lives up to its goals of increasing awareness of higher education and decreasing disciplinary incidents among African American students. MEGA has done a terrific job committing to our students for the second year in a row. Along with Clint Patterson, Coordinator and Dean of Students, MEGA works hard to build solid relationships with our students and is intentional about enlightening students on the importance of personal responsibility, effort and achievement. We look forward each year to collaborating with MEGA Mentors!
Carver College and Career Academy: MEGA Mentors is working with the faculty of Carver Academy to enlighten the student body on the fastest growing industries and career opportunities in Chesterfield County over the next five years. So far over 40 students have participated in discussions on the healthcare and personal serv ice industries. Future sessions are planned for the construction, engineering, small business and real estate industries. One student stated after the healthcare sessions “I never knew that there was that many opportunities that paid such salaries in the healthcare industry.”
Monacan High: About 50 Monacan high school students had the opportunity to spend six hours working on the farm owned by its’ community partner Mt Gilead Full Gospel International Church. The students picked, clean and prepared for shipment about 1300 pounds of product from the fall crop. All food was donated to the Food Bank.
- MEGA High School Students Tour UR and Black History Museum MEGA Mentors sponsored the annual merit trip on April 10th for over 20 students from Chesterfield Career and Technical Center at Hull (Academy 360) and Meadowbrook High School to experience University of Richmond (UR) and the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. At their first stop at UR’s Queally Center, administrations intern Cady Green addressed academic, financial and graduation aspects the university could offer. A campus guide then took the group on a detailed tour of the UR facilities where the students gained a general understanding of the school’s advantages. After lunch in the campus dining facilities, the students headed to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia where Ms. Adele Johnson, the museum’s executive director, greeted them with an overview of the center. As the students walked the galleries and studied the various displays and paintings, they gained a better understanding of the footprint African Americans made on the Capital City’s history.
- Middle School Students Visit RCC and Monticello MEGA middle school students embarked on their annual merit trip on April 15th. During their excursion, the students visited Reynolds Community College where they learned about their academic options after high school. The group also traveled to Charlottesville where they visited Monticello, the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. The annual middle and high school trips are part of MEGA’s mission reward student achievement and expose them to experiential activities to broaden their perspectives. To participate, students must meet or exceed goals regarding attendance, grades and disciplinary actions.
- Financing the Future with Knowledge MEGA Mentor Kevin Nicholson spoke with students at Meadowbrook on April 11th as part of MEGA’s Speakers’ Bureau program. Mr. Nicholson spoke about his life’s journey, not being afraid to fail, saving money and careers in financial management. Mr. Nicholson is chief market strategist at RiverFront Investment Group in Richmond.
- Recognition Celebration Honors Outstanding Students and Members Over 350 students, family members, school officials and MEGA members attended the 2019 Excellence Awards and Recognition Celebration which was held on May 30th. This year’s guest speaker was Ms. Christy Coleman, the current CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. Ms. Coleman engaged the crowd with stories of her struggles in deciding a career path and starting over several times before she found her passion in history. “It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do right now,” said Coleman while specifically addressing the students. “Enjoy your youth. Take your time and find your passion. It’s okay to change your mind along the way.”
- Annual Membership Meeting Hosted by JTCC Over 70 members attended MEGA’s Annual Meeting September 17th at John Tyler Community College Midlothian Campus where the president spoke. Members learned about MEGA’s past school year accomplishments and goals for the current school year. Comedian Micah “Bam-Bamm” White hosted a MEGA Mentors edition of the Family Feud game show where attendees learned about MEGA in a fun-charged environment.
- 2020 Fine Art Benefit and Sale MEGA Mentors 9th Annual Fine Art Benefit and Sale is being held on Friday, January 17th, 2020. This event will be attended by over 300 patrons and will feature fine art, a silent auction featuring electronic bidding, music by Cloud 9, as well as an assortment of food and beverages.
- MEGA Field Trips
- April 13th: On lucky Friday the 13th, four chartered buses carrying Chesterfield middle school students rolled out of the county on an educational tour of Hampton, Virginia, for their annual year-end merit trip. MEGA Mentors students were being awarded for their successes with tours to Hampton University and the Virginia Air & Space Center. Students from Carver Middle, Falling Creek Middle, Providence Middle, and Salem Church Middle Schools, first visited the campus of Hampton University; the young scholars were given a guided tour of the institution’s African American Museum of Art and History. After a filling lunch at County Grill & Smokehouse, they visited the Virginia Air & Space Center. They began their adventure with a scavenger hunt identifying the Wright Brothers’ first plane to the Apollo Moon Mission. Climaxing the day, the students viewed the museum signature 3-D theater – the IMAX. In today’s sensitive and challenging scholastic environment, MEGA Mentors will continue the programs to encourage our youth to perform at their best in academics, school attendance, and social ethics.
- April 20th: For their April 20 year-end merit trip, MEGA Mentors took over 70 high school students from Carver Career College & Academy, the Career & Technical Center, and Meadowbrook High Schools on a field trip of the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s home of Monticello. Touring the campus of UVA, they learned that although Jefferson designed the school he was educated at William & Mary; the school was built by slaves; and early students enjoyed calithumping (riding horses while shooting). In a Peabody Hall lecture, Tour guide, Allyson Umali explained the various academic courses available for study at the institution. After lunch in the campus cafeteria, the young scholars visited Jefferson’s Monticello home and gardens. Featuring an entrance foyer museum with Native American and trophy artifacts, the home amazed the students with Jefferson’s book collection and innovative inventions. The stop also included a slave tour of a reconstructed slave home and the Jefferson family grave site. Students, Mentors and Chaperones enjoyed the field trip. The students were especially engaged and in awe during the tour and history of Monticello and the grounds. They were on their best behavior as they were educated on the history of this 25th nationally ranked university.
- Annual Membership Meeting This year’s annual membership meeting was held September 19 where veteran and new MEGA Mentors discussed the 2017- 2018 school year accomplishments, best practices and the path ahead. Over 100 members attended, making this MEGA’s largest recruiting class it our history. The meeting was held at John Tyler’s Midlothian campus and featured guest speaker Dr. Connie Honsinger, who trained the group on Trauma Informed Care.
- Students Bowl and Bond at Uptown Alley MEGA middle and high school students kicked off the school year with a fun-filled day at Uptown Alley in Midlothian October 27. The team building event allowed the students, mentors and Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) staff to bond and set a positive tone for the school year.
- “Walk A Mile” Program MEGA Mentors Carver Academy High students attended a Flying Squirrels game on May 29th and experienced an example of the day-to-day management of the team. Flying Squirrels Director of Community Outreach, Megan Angstadt, introduced the students to a few team members and explained the activities that occur in the Diamond’s tunnel. After meeting Squirrels pitcher Dan Siania, the students also shared a photo op with U.S. Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA). In addition, this year students also visited NBC 12 in Richmond where they toured the studio and met with the Vice President and General Manger Kym Grinnage, who is also a MEGA Mentors member. The Walk a Mile program is a great way for students to see the operations side of local businesses and see how education and hard work pay off. MEGA takes the students to different organizations every year, but the Flying Squirrels have been a favorite so we keep going back.
- The Hope Survey results showed improvement in self-efficacy, self-regulation and hope remained at high levels.
- We mentored over 450 students in seven schools.
- We had 180 volunteers totaling over 7,658 hours and 125 mentors who contributed 3,250 classroom hours.
- MEGA’s experiential activities included:
- Freedom Classic: over 250 students, parents, mentors and CCPS staff members attended.
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC: over 100 high school students and chapperones attended (merit-based trip).
- Nautica Maritime Science Center and Norfolk State University: 180 students participated (merit-based trip).
- MEGA arranged for more than 2,000 CCPS 7th graders to go see the movie “HIdden Figures.”
- Eight Carver Academy and Meadowbrook students spent a day with Dominion and Richmond Flying Squirrels management teams.
- Over 350 guests attended the 7th Annual Excellence Awards & Recognition Celebration themed “What’s Next- I Rise.” The inspirational speaker was Ms. Nikki Jackson, senior vice president and regional executive of the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In her role she focuses on community development and education as well as regional economic research and policy input.
- Troy Lewis, best-selling author of the book “Gas Money,” was aguest speaker at Providence Middle School April 6. He spoke to over 50 students, school administrators and MEGA Mentors volunteers over two sessions.
- MEGA financially supported Young Men on a Mission at Providence Middle School as well as the Regional Sea Perch Competition.
- We awarded over $6,300 in scholarships to graduating MEGA seniors.
- The 5th Annual Fine Art Benefit and Sale in January 2016 was a huge success and was attended by over 300 patrons. The event showcased fine art, a silent auction featuring electronic bidding, music by J. Tucker, and food and refreshments.
- Over 250 guests attended the 6th Annual Excellence Awards & Recognition Celebration themed “Time, Talent and Tomorrow.” The inspirational speaker was the Honorable Cressondra Brown Conyers, a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court judge for Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex counties.
- A student organization at JTCC called “Young Men of Distinction” recently joined the MEGA list of volunteers by supplying student mentors at Carver Middle School. The group comprises male African American students who have banded together to provide positive leadership on campus.
- The Hope Survey indicated that student hope and self-efficacy continue to show improvement.
- Student goal-setting has led to improved academic, attendance and behavioral results.
- MEGA expanded its curriculum to address life skills and coping skills.
- Over $20,000 was given to graduating seniors pursuing higher education.
- MEGA received grants from the Midlothian Rotary and the Robins Foundation, and hired grant writer with Robins grant.
- MEGA is in its second year of piloting an after-school Leadership Speakers Series at Falling Creak Middle School. The series recruits business and community leaders to speak to students about their lives, paths to success and the importance of choices.
- The Providence Middle School 6th grade boys achieved a cumulative 3.26 GPA, and all of them qualified for the annual merit trip to Washington. The MEGA students’ overall GPA was 3.01 for the boys and 2.96 for the girls.
- With the support of IBM, Providence Middle School received a $5,000 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) grant in November 2016 that will be used to enhance the educational experiences for the student body at large.
- In January 2015, President Barrack Obama recognized and awarded MEGA Mentors as the recipient of “The President’s Volunteer Service Award” for community service in 2014. MEGA received the Gold medal, which signifies over 1,000 hours of service.
- In March 2015, MEGA Mentors was recognized and received the highest Chesterfield County Public Schools award “Community Partner of the Year” by the Chesterfield County School Board and Administration.
- Over 500 students were impacted by mentoring, tutoring, Young Men on a Mission and after- school speakers.
- CTC-Hull Academy 360 was incorporated as the 7th school operating with a new MEGA model.
- A total of 454 students and parents attended the SELMA showing (supported by CCPS).
- Over 220 students and chaperones visited Old Dominion University and Nauticus in Norfolk.
- MEGA students received numerous awards at year’s end. More than 30 seniors graduated with over 60 percent pursuing higher education.
- Student performance has improved (attendance, academics, and discipline).
- MEGA is awarding $7,500 in senior scholarship money.
- The Hope Survey indicated the program is making a difference in building student optimism, selfinitiation and goal orientation.
- Our 4th Annual Fine Art Benefit and Sale (FABS) had record attendance and exceeded fund raising goals.
- CCPS Dept. of Research and Evaluation assisted with our measures and metrics development.
- MEGA’s services are being requested by an additional four elementary, three middle and two high schools to date.
- Over 250 students, board members, community leaders, teachers, principals and parents attended the 5th Annual Excellence Awards and Recognition Celebration.
- Our website was revamped to include easy access to the curriculum under the “For Mentors” tab, and MEGA now has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
- We’ve experienced an increased brand recognition and donor base.
- We’ve received our first grant from the Robbins foundation.
- The MEGA Board of Directors has been expanded.
- Held 3rd Annual Recognition Celebration at Virginia State University with over 250 mentees, parents, mentors, County and school administrator in attendance.
- Held 3rd Annual MEGA Fine Art Benefit and Sale as a signature fundraising event with over 350 attendees.
- Sponsored field trip for MEGA students to attend the Freedom Classic game and festivities between Virginia State University and Virginia Union University.
- Partnered with Providence Middle School’s Young Men On a Mission (YMOM) program to support annual trip, talent night, goal-setting seminar and workshops.
- Sponsored trip to Richmond Forum where students had the opportunity to hear President George W. Bush speak and take a photo with him.
- Provided financial support and chaperones for YMOM field trip to Baltimore, MD that included a college tour (Morgan State); cultural tours to the Blacks In Wax Museum and National Aquarium.
- Sponsored year-end field trip to Washington, D.C. (college and cultural tour) for all mentees who achieved academic attendance and behavioral goals for the academic year.