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Mentor Tutor Connection: Supporting students in local school districts


Courtesy of Mentor Tutor Connection
Mentor Tutor Connection aims to enhance students’ life skills through adult tutoring and mentoring. Students are pictured here participating in a ropes course.

• Mission: Mentor Tutor Connection aims to enhance the academic and life skills of local youth through individualized volunteer tutoring and mentoring. Mentors work with high school students facing challenges due to socioeconomic or other personal circumstances; tutors volunteer in the classroom and after-school homework programs at elementary and middle schools to help students who are falling behind in reading, math, science and other subjects.

• 2019 update: Carol Olson replaced Padma Gargeya as executive director Sept. 16. Olson said she’s been “a big fan” of the organization since her days as president and CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce (1996-2006). Olson, whose children attended local schools, later served as director of environment and stewardship programs at the Morgan Family Foundation and most recently managed her own consulting company to advance nonprofit and philanthropic effectiveness in outdoor and environmental education. She said MTC is a “great match for my experience and interests.”

Olson noted that MTC’s strategic plan calls for growth in an effort to reach more students (it serves nearly 500 now), and that will require more volunteers. The goal is to have 140 mentors by 2022 (MTC has not yet set a target number for tutors). That will require finding new avenues for recruiting volunteers, Olson said, such as building partnerships with local Chambers of Commerce and the corporate community.

MTC also plans to strengthen its relationships with the schools it serves.

“They’re already good,” Olson said, “but we want to be responsive and adapt to the needs of the schools.”

• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: Olson said the money will go toward helping MTC recruit volunteers and provide them and existing volunteers “with the most up-to-date and relevant training” – such as the upcoming empathy training course. She added that every dollar matters.

“For a small, grassroots organization like us, these funds are incredibly valuable,” Olson said.

Mentor Tutor Connection

Location: Public schools in Los Altos and Mountain View

Founded: 1996 as Partners for New Generations

Annual budget: $225,000

Staff: 7 part-time employees; 185 volunteers (84 tutors, 101 mentors)

Information: mentortutorconnection.org

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