ReServe: Success Mentors

ReServe is an innovative nonprofit that matches continuing professionals age 55+ with organizations that need their expertise.


ENCORE IMPACT: Life experience, relationships help reduce truancy


More than 40 ReServists joined a cohort of “Success Mentors” in a New York City interagency program from 2010 to 2013, aimed at reducing chronic absenteeism at middle and high schools. Working part-time during the school year, they built relationships with students and families, providing “cost-effective, high-impact” support that included daily morning ‘meet and greets,’ lunchtime study sessions and outreach to parents with “good news” communications.

The program report, “Meeting the Challenge of Combating Chronic Absenteeism” detailed program highlights, including:

  • Success Mentors and their supporting infrastructure were the most effective component of the task force’s effort across all school types. Previously chronically absent students who had mentors gained almost two additional weeks (9 days) of school per student, per year.
  • In the 25 percent of schools that experienced the greatest impacts, chronically absent students supported by Success Mentors gained, on average, more than a month of school.
  • Previously chronically absent high school students with Success Mentors were 52 percent more likely to remain in school the following year than comparable students who did not have mentors, suggesting that mentoring is a useful dropout prevention strategy.