The study was conducted in 19 public schools served by Communities in Schools (CIS)-San Antonio (seven elementary schools, five middle schools, and seven high schools).
The majority of the analytic sample was female (67%). 72% of the intervention group and 61% of the comparison group were female. The majority of the students in the analytic sample (55%) were Mexican-American (59% of the intervention group and 52% of the comparison group). The next largest racial/ethnic group represented in the sample was Hispanic/Anglo biracial, which comprised one third of the analytic sample (33.3%). The average age of students in the analytic sample was 13 years old.
The intervention group participants received mentoring plus supportive services from Communities in Schools-San Antonio. Students who were in the intervention group received an average of 8 mentoring sessions throughout the school year (the program was designed to provide weekly mentoring). Mentors and mentees were matched based on similar interests. Mentors were recruited from various sources, including military bases, local businesses, colleges, and local organizations. 70% of mentors were college students, 13% were military personnel, 15% were full-time employed adults, and 2% had "other" roles. Mentors participated in a one-hour orientation before being assigned to a youth. Additional evening/training support sessions were offered, but were not well-attended. Mentoring could only take place during the school day on the school site. Mentoring took place in various settings (cafeteria, library, CIS agency office, etc.). Mentors completed activity logs to document the time spent with their mentee. Mentees had access to their school's case manager as a resource and could also participate in enrichment and supportive services, such as tutoring which the comparison group also received.
Comparison group students received supportive services from Communities in Schools-San Antonio, which were managed by a case manager in each school. The supportive services included educational enhancement activities, enrichment, supportive guidance, and/or tutoring (p. 101). The comparison condition received these support and enrichment services during the academic year. Four of the comparison students also received mentors through the program.
Support for implementation
Mentors received a one-hour training session and had access to additional evening/support sessions. A case manager in each school managed the supportive services. Communities in School, a national organization, is structured to partner with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and volunteers for a host of enrichment programming (see www.communitiesinschools.org).