NEW YORK —Marymount College students who serve as mentors to local Hispanic middle school girls in the College’s Club Amigas program celebrated the holiday season with their mentees in Butler Parlors on Dec. 14. More than one dozen Marymount students serve as mentors to 34 middle school girls from Sleepy Hollow Middle School, down the road from the College, and East View Middle School, in White Plains, N.Y.

Photo by Pat McMahon.

Each Marymount mentor meets with her middle-school students weekly for tutoring and talk. The role-model program seeks to help the daughters of Hispanic immigrants fulfill their academic and social potential while exposing them positively to the College world. Hispanic girls have the highest high-school dropout rate—30 percent don’t receive diplomas—of any racial or ethnic group and are the least likely to earn a college degree. The Club Amigas program hopes to encourage more young Hispanic women to finish high school and consider college.

“It’s all about relationships,” said Ellen Silber, Ph.D., professor of French and director of the Marymount Institute for the Education of Women and Girls, which sponsors the program. Silber explained that getting together to celebrate the season is just another way to foster this important connection.

Founded in 1992, the Marymount Institute for the Education of Women and Girls is a national center whose mission is to create knowledge and awareness of women’s and girls’ experiences in classrooms at all levels. The institute seeks to help teachers and administrators, parents and policy-makers to identify the educational needs of women and girls and translate them into gender-equitable programs for students.