RARE Pearls are high school girls, grades 11 and 12, who have demonstrated academic skills, leadership abilities, character, and discipline but are at-risk of not living up to their full potential due to extenuating circumstances and challenges. These racially/ethnically diverse students are more likely to not pursue higher education or to not complete college/post-secondary programs due to economic or environmental barriers. They live primarily in poverty, low-income, or otherwise financially challenged households. Many are being raised in single-parent homes or by a relative or other caregiver such as a grandparent or foster parent. Many are potential first generation college students who lack the guidance and support of college educated parents. Additionally, most have limited exposure to educational, social, and cultural experiences typically associated with “well-rounded” youth, and many come from backgrounds and educational environments that made it difficult for them to reach and fully demonstrate their academic potential. Prior to acceptance into the program, girls undergo a screening process involving a written application, interview, and interview with parent(s). This process is intended to ensure that both students and parents are prepared to honor the commitment required by the program.
RARE Pearl Mentors
The RARE Mentoring Program is built on biblical principles. RARE Pearl Mentors are a diverse group of women from various business, community, and educational sectors who are committed to the vision, mission, and conduct set forth in the organization’s bylaws. RARE Mentors also model the principles and life lessons taught in the program. Additionally, mentors undergo an extensive selection/screening process designed to protect program participants by identifying and screening out applicants who: pose safety risks; are unlikely to honor the time commitment involved; are unlikely to form healthy/positive relationships with program participants. Selected mentors undergo program orientation and ongoing training.