The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) is a high-tech, career-focused mentoring program for youth involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. Funded by four grants from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and led by the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), RAMP is being implemented across the country by state and local organizations with expertise in mentoring, youth development, juvenile justice, and disability. The RAMP model uses a combination of group, peer, and one-on-one mentoring to promote the successful transition of RAMP™ youth to employment, continued learning opportunities, and independent living.
Youth participate in weekly career preparation-focused group meetings, including peer-supported goal setting and exploration of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Each youth meets regularly one-on-one with a mentor to develop and implement an Individualized Mentoring Plan (IMP). Mentors are caring adults recruited from the community, schools, employers, and partner organizations. Youths’ families, teachers, and support network are engaged in career fairs, college visits, and extended learning activities. While in RAMP, youth have the opportunity to assess and explore their own career interests; develop a plan and set goals for their transition; create a resource map of their community’s high-tech industries; gain workplace soft skills; build resume-writing and interviewing skills; interact with employers and experience a variety of work settings; give and receive peer support; take advantage of group and personal leadership opportunities; design and build a high-tech-related team project, and most importantly… have fun!