A new program at the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) pairs high school students with middle schoolers, on the theory that a mentoring relationship with an older student might discourage dropping out.
PASA organizers say they are focusing on 8th graders, who often face a tough road when they transition from middle school into high school. Just 66 percent of Providence students graduate from high school within four years.
PASA's high school mentors will work with City Year members, receive training in leadership and youth work and draw on their own experiences as they work to connect with middle school participants. PASA expects roughly 100 middle school students to take part in the first year of the program.