District Attorney George Gascón Announces Mentor Collaboration with School District

January 28, 2013

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167

ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

Over 1000 San Francisco Youth Waiting for a Mentor

San Francisco - Today, District Attorney George Gascón will announce at a press conference at Burton High School a partnership with SFUSD's Mentoring for Success program to launch a mentoring speaker series in San Francisco schools. Throughout the year, Assistant District Attorneys will be visiting Burton High School, Mission High School and Thurgood Marshall High School to speak about their personal struggles through school and potential career paths for students. Created to inspire and motivate students to succeed despite academic and social challenges, the program is estimated to reach as many as 100 students.

“Keeping students in school means keeping students out of the criminal justice system,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “Mentors teach students to have self confidence and act as positive role models for youth who lack them.”

Participation by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office is part of the District Attorney’s truancy reduction initiative dedicated to keeping students in school. Mentoring has been shown to have a significant positive impact on student's academic performances, self-esteem, drug and alcohol use, and unexcused absences. Statistics by SFUSD's Mentoring for Success Program revealed that of youth who regularly met with their mentors, 40% improved their academic performance and 48% decreased their number of unexcused absences.

In addition to the new mentor speaker series, District Attorney George Gascón will announce a mentor recruiting event on January 31st from 5:30-7:30 pm at Marcus Bookstore located at 1712 Fillmore St. The event will allow outstanding mentors from partnering organizations to be honored for their commitment while providing information to members of the public interested in becoming involved.

District Attorney George Gascón asks that everyone interested in participating bring a friend or colleague who is also interested in becoming a mentor. With estimates of over 1000 students in San Francisco in need of a mentor, it is essential to recruit willing community members to become positive role models for at-risk youth. The co-owners of San Francisco's Marcus Book Store have graciously agreed to host this event and Extreme Pizza has volunteered to provide food.

For more information about the event, please visit the following link to the San Francisco District Attorney's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/events/477675775611524/.