What is it?
CISNT Lunch with a Leader is group-based mentoring that offers volunteers and students a different approach to the mentoring relationship. Mentoring occurs one to two times per month and focuses on the development of leadership skills for student participants. This is a great opportunity for busy community leaders who may be unable to commit to weekly mentoring. Some of our existing mentors for this program include local elected officials, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce members, as well as business owners and professionals.
CISNT has been honored and grateful to provide mentoring opportunities to benefit the students we serve for almost two decades now. You can find more details about our individual, weekly mentoring program here.
The Lunch with a Leader mentoring group was formed four years ago at Rockbrook Elementary in Lewisville as a creative way to address a group of strong-willed 4th and 5th grade girls who were continually exhibiting behavior issues and leading their peers to make poor decisions. The results from this very first year were staggering: After just one school year, all 12 girls not only improved behaviorally, but academically as well. Though they did not receive tutoring or academic assistance through this innovative mentoring group, they all demonstrated a new motivation to do better in school.
Since 2014, CISNT has been able to expand this idea across our elementary programs in Lewisville ISD, Denton ISD, and Bridgeport ISD, serving both girls and boys. We are excited to continue this expansion in 2017, moving into Lake Dallas ISD and piloting our first Middle School program at Lake Dallas Middle School! We are also launching a high school version of this group called Lead Forward that will focus on college and career exploration – For more information on our high school Lead Forward groups, click HERE.
How does it work?
Students are identified based on a need to develop leadership skills and are enrolled in the CISNT program.
Student participants engage in a weekly lunch group with their CISNT Site Coordinator where they discuss topics like positive conflict resolution, etiquette, and goal setting. Throughout the month, the Site Coordinator updates the Lunch with a Leader Mentors on what their mentees are learning in their group.
Once a month the students are joined during their lunch group by their mentors, who are all identified community leaders. Mentors are matched one-on-one and meet with the same student each month, within this group atmosphere. Lunches are held on the same day each month for consistency (i.e., the third Tuesday or the second Wednesday of each month).
Mentors are also encouraged to meet with their student individually once more per month outside of the luncheon, if they are able, to help further build and grow a positive relationship.
Become a Lunch with a Leader Mentor!
During the 2016/2017 school year 100% of the 107 students who participated in this program improved in school. This program works!
Steps to getting involved:
- Review our group vacancies HERE. (Please note: CISNT operates at campuses that do not yet offer Lunch with a Leader or Lead Forward mentoring, but have a continuous need for individual, weekly mentors. If none of the schools listed at the above link are of interest to you, you can view a complete list of our schools offering individual mentoring opportunities here.)
- Fill out the application HERE.
- RSVP to and attend a CISNT New Volunteer Orientation HERE.
- Pass a criminal background check. (A link will be emailed to you after your orientation is completed, prompting you to login to Verified Volunteers and enter the information needed to run your background check.)
- Get deployed to a campus to begin.