Strengthening student motivation to succeed in school and beyond.
Cloud Coach is an online mentoring program designed to motivate students to think forward about their futures and act now to achieve their goals. BestPrep pairs every ninth-grader in a Minneapolis or St. Paul Public School with a volunteer mentor from a local company. Over the course of eight weeks, students and mentors discuss hobbies and interests, future career options, goal-setting, and personal branding through weekly online conversations. Halfway through those eight weeks, the students and mentors meet in-person at the company’s office for a one-time event called the Cloud Summit. As BestPrep’s newest program, Cloud Coach’s vision is to serve all 4,000+ ninth-graders in Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools.
Throughout the program, students will take a deep dive with their mentors into what their future goals and dreams are and then focus their goals back to their 9th grade experience to help students see the importance of school and graduation. Participating in Cloud Coach allows students to see their future potential and stay motivated in high school to achieve their goals and opportunities. This allows students to view school as a top priority.
Cloud Coach has three objectives during the eight-week program:
- Develop a relationship with a mentor that emphasizes motivation and effort as success factors
- Think forward to identify aspirations and related career interests
- Act now to be on track to graduate and achieve further goals
Cloud Coach provides dialogue starters to the mentors, or “Gateway Prompts,” so they can guide the conversation to help students determine their interests and stay on track to graduate. Gateway Prompts are based on research conducted by Search Institute and are aimed at deepening students’ understanding of goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, career aptitude, and more. The first half of the program emphasizes a “Think Forward” philosophy, with the latter half focusing on “Act Now.”
Mentors can choose to follow one of three Gateway Tracks of the Gateway Prompts based on the student’s specific needs.
Midway through the eight-week program, students and their mentors meet in-person at the mentor’s company for a Cloud Summit. Cloud Summits deepen the relationship between students and mentors and allow for a more comfortable and friendly flow of their online conversations following the Summit. During this event, mentors are able to reinforce the program goals by having a casual interaction with the student. Cloud Summits are frequently the turning point in the Think Forward, Act Now conversation.
Each Cloud Summit is typically a half-day event. The students and mentors meet, learn about the company, engage in a learning activity, have lunch, and receive a tour of the company’s offices.
By The Numbers
The Cloud Coach program makes an impact annually on the students in the program.