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Against All Odds: PEAK Mentor Helps Struggling Scholar Get On Track

PEAK mentor Bryce Yancy, Director of Government Affairs at Chicago State University, saw his freshman scholar struggling academically and decided that the only way to truly help him succeed would be by playing a more active role in his life. Bryce's PEAK scholar Gabrielle has had the odds stacked against him since birth — from being left in a car by his mother as a toddler to being pulled out of grade school and moved to another state without notice. Through it all, Gabe has had the unyielding support of his 80+ year old grandmother...and now, his PEAK mentor, Bryce. Unsurprisingly, Gabe struggled to stay organized early in his freshman year of high school. His grades were low, and everyone was concerned about whether he would be able to maintain the GPA required in order to keep his scholarship, especially Bryce. It was then that Bryce recognized that he would need to play the role of accountability agent in Gabe's life in order for him to get his grades up and stay on track for graduation. Through weekly check-ins, phone calls with his grandmother, and support from PEAK's Program Manager, Bryce helped Gabe get on track. His grades rose each semester and as of the 2nd semester Gabe's GPA rose from a staggering 0.71 to a respectable 2.11. Mentoring is not a one-size-fits-all trade. Every mentor-scholar relationship is unique and makes different demands on the mentor and the scholar. Bryce found an approach that is working for him and Gabe, and there is every indication that it will lead not only to Gabe's graduation three years from now, but to a long-term, supportive mentoring relationship that will last long beyond high school.

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