MUST desires to serve youth who are the most vulnerable for dropping out of high school and/or hurting themselves or others. To find these youth, we aim for young people who meet the first five indicators below and then possibly one of the next four:
- Rising 9th grade African-American Male
- No positive male role model living at home
- GPA near 2.0 or below
- Parents/Guardians who did not go to college
- Qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (low income)
- Previous problem behaviors at school, at home, or with the law
- 7+ absentees from school
- Parents who are/were incarcerated
- No algebra by the 8th grade and/or a level behind in their reading
We realize this is a lot of labels to put on a youth. However, it is our passion to serve those with the greatest need. Youth do not need to fit this profile perfectly but they do need to be vulnerable for dropping out of high school or hurting themselves or others. The application and interview process also help determine those with the greatest need.
Youth & Guardian Testimonies
"MUST got me my first job which allowed me to get my first car which was something I had dreamed about since a child. It helped me become close to people I still talk to this day.
Helped my family when I needed it the most. Came to check on me and would keep checking even if I didn’t respond or seem like I didn’t want to be there. Understood that I was going through some things.
I also had something to look forward to every weekend with some of my best friends. MUST has helped me get a tutor with school and gave me more confidence."
Former Mentee and High School Graduate
"My mentor has helped me in school by helping me with assignments and projects. He helps me in looking at other schools. We go in the morning to eat before school and talk about what we need to do. If I am going through a hard time I can talk to him when I need to without being judged. I would recommend it to other guys because it might help them also in the future. The program has taught me something called BELT. B is break the cycle. E is excellence. L is leave no man behind. T is toughness. BELT is helpful because I feel like to more something reminds me I do it."
"When his mother was having problems and had to move from one school district to the other and was unable to assist him due to not having transportation, MUST was there to help him with his transition to his new school and had talked to his counselors and had his new schedule already prepared for him. Whenever the family had to move, MUST was always there to support him and encourage him. MUST has truly been my grandson’s 'CHAMPION.' They don’t judge him and has never given up on him and has always been there for him. They have exposed him to activities and places where he would have never experienced before. Every child deserves a 'MUST'."
Are your mentors safe?
Our mentors are highly-screened during the selection process, undergo annual background checks, and have to take random drug tests each year. They also have to take child protection training to make them more aware of child predators. MUST desires to create a safe environment for the youth we serve and take every measure necessary to ensure our mentors are safe.
How does my child become a part of your program?
MUST tries to identify the youth we serve in the late spring and summer. Qualifying teens need to be male, African American, currently be in the 8th grade, and slated to attend Garfield, Franklin, Cleveland, or Rainier Beach high schools in Seattle, Washington.
If you feel your child qualifies for the MUST mentoring program, please fill out the application below.