Roads to New Relationships
Trekkers Expansion Plan 2011−2016
For the past 17 years, the Trekkers model has accommodated 20 students in each of its core programs (for students in grades 7 - 12). Under this model, one Program Manager has coordinated expeditions, facilitated meetings, managed volunteers and built relationships with a total of 120 students. See the “Initial Program Model” slide below.
During recent years, Trekkers has been developing a new program model that would enable more students to participate in our unique youth mentoring program, while still maintaining our mission of creating meaningful connections between young people and caring adults. The result is a six-year expansion plan that will allow more students from more communities to participate in Trekkers. The plan includes the addition of three new Program Managers, which will greatly improve our Program Manager-to-student ratio, and will ensure even more opportunities to build meaningful mentoring relationships. Below, you will see three descriptions and corresponding slides that explain our six-year expansion process and the resulting new program model.
The primary reason for Trekkers’ expansion plan is to grant more local students the opportunity to participate in Trekkers’ six-year program. As a consequence of the confidence and interest in Trekkers' programs throughout our community, our waiting list for membership has continued to grow each year. It is our ultimate goal to be able to offer enrollment to all students who would benefit from active participation in Trekkers’ programs.
In the spring of 2011, we will start to double enrollment by having two 7th-grade programs, with a total of 40 students participating in our 7th-grade Teen Trekkers program. See slide #1 below.
Trekkers will then admit an additional 40 7th graders into the program each of the following five years until we reach our planned maximum enrollment of 240 students in core programming by 2016.
Increasing the Number of Communities Served
Another purpose for expanding Trekkers’ enrollment is related to the school consolidation in our region. For the past 17 years, Trekkers has been enrolling students from School Administrative District (SAD) # 50, which served the communities of Cushing, Thomaston and St. George. This year, SAD #50 has been consolidated with SAD #5, which served the communities of South Thomaston, Owls Head and Rockland. Now that the two districts are merging into Regional School Unit (RSU) #13, Trekkers is expanding its membership criteria to include students growing up in all six communities.
As we put our new model in place this spring, we will increase the number of openings for 7th-grade students from St. George School and Thomaston Grammar School by 30%. We also will provide 14 openings to 7th graders from Rockland Middle School. See slide #2 below.
Increasing Our Mentoring Relationships
Under the new model, Trekkers will quadruple the number of Program Managers incrementally over the next six years. Rather than one Program Manager running the core programming for 120 students, each of the four Program Managers will facilitate expeditions, coordinate volunteers and develop mentoring relationships with a group of 60 students as they progress through the six-year program. See slide #3 below.
Much of Trekkers’ success as a youth mentoring program originates in the meaningful relationships created between caring adults and the students we serve. By improving the Program Manager-to-student ratio, each Program Manager will be able to do much more to create and strengthen mentoring relationships by focusing on 60 Trekkers, rather than the 120 students in the original model.
We hope you are as excited about this expansion as we are. If you have any questions, please contact the Trekkers office by calling 207-594-5095.