Our mentoring program has been developed for the purpose of minimizing the recidivism rate, or the rate of re-suspension, within Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). Additionally, we are working to help students break from the cycle of suspension to reduce the likelihood that they will become part of the School-To-Prison Pipeline.* Towards this end, we primarily offer guidance in the development of academic and professional skills, but our focus is to maintain strong interpersonal relationships with our mentees and to provide resources to help them reach their goals.
To facilitate this program, we have partnered with AMIkids Infinity Wake for the past 2 and a half years with 5 groups of mentees. As an alternative high school for WCPSS, AMIkids receives students through referrals from “base” high schools as the result of long-term suspensions. Once a student becomes suspended, rehabilitated, and returns to their “base” high school, students are typically subject to a “one-strike” policy and do not receive the support they need, which leaves them vulnerable to further suspensions. Furthermore, many of the students suffer with various types of learning and psychological disabilities, which often result in disciplinary action against the students.
We work with Infinity Wake to provide these students with second chances that society, and even the public school system, does not give. The basis of the values of American Justice Corps lies in the equality of opportunity, and in the protection of fair and equal rights and justice for all. While the AJC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), we are not a charity, and we do not simply provide community service. Our mentors and our leaders firmly believe that the students with whom we work are deserving of the opportunities that other students receive to achieve their goals. In recognizing the needs of these students, we work to protect the equal rights and opportunities of all individuals within the community.
* The School to Prison Pipeline (SSTP) is defined as the cyclic process by which students continued suspensions lead a student to be more likely to engage in criminal activities. The STTP is the result of systemic discrimination, and inherent educational inequalities, which are the cause of socioeconomic differences within the school systems, as well as racial inequalities.