Mentorship Makes the Most of High School

High school is a pivotal time in a young man’s life. It’s a time when they’re maturing and taking on more responsibility, but there’s still a lot of growing up to do before they leave for college and a career. 

Parents might be wondering … 

Will he have the self-discipline to be able to juggle school and other commitments? 
Will he have the self-awareness to make mistakes and learn from them? 
Will his confidence be bolstered by his high school experience or will it only bring him down? 

When it comes to high school, academics and college preparedness are extremely important, but so is being prepared for all the demands of the real world. High schoolers need to learn important life skills that will set them up for success when they’re living and working on their own.  

As boarding school students live and learn away from home, mentorship plays a significant role in the Church Farm School student experience. Mentors at Church Farm come in many different forms -- teachers, coaches, cottage family, college counselors, school alumni, fellow students, and service project leaders. All of these influences work together to keep our students grounded, on track, confident, motivated and prepared for life after high school. To learn more about the Church Farm School experience in Exton, Pennsylvania, please download our free parent guide

Mentorship at Church Farm looks like … 

Invested teachers.
A Church Farm School teacher is more than an educator — they also serve as advisors, coaches and cottage parents. If a student is struggling with a subject or assignment, help is available around the clock. Most faculty live on our Exton campus (many are cottage parents), making themselves available during dedicated biweekly conference time periods, study hall and weekly evening sessions. 

Active advising.
Individual faculty members act as advisors, meeting frequently with small groups of students to ensure each young man’s needs are being met, academically and socially/emotionally. Advisors act as advocates, assisting students in resolving issues and keeping parents informed.

Academic coaching. 
Church Farm students learn how to learn. Our dedicated Academic Coaching Team (ACT) provides students and faculty with tools to improve organizational and time management skills. They empower students to ask for assistance independently and collaboratively as needed in all areas of academic and residential life, ensuring they learn the power of self-advocacy. Our ACT program also employs upperclassmen peer mentors who can guide their younger Griffins. 

College guidance. 
Navigating the college search and application process can be intimidating and overwhelming. Starting in freshman year, Church Farm’s College Guidance office advises each student through the process by providing information about standardized testing, hosting individual and group meetings about the college and financial aid application process, assisting with curriculum choices and consulting with parents. Our college planning timeline provides a detailed overview of how we approach college prep at Church Farm, and we help every senior find their best fit school.

Team sports. 
Church Farm’s coaching staff is made up largely of faculty members who work closely with student-athletes to develop leadership, sportsmanship and teamwork. Every Church Farm student participates in athletics; we have multiple levels of competitive teams, as well as non-competitive options, such as intramural sports and strength and conditioning. Team sports improve self-confidence and teach skills that will serve students well for the rest of their lives.

Service about self.
Mentorship is a gift made even more valuable when it is both given and received. A vital component of our curriculum is community service. Through our C.O.R.E. (Challenge of Required Experience) program, students choose from a wide variety of community service programs and projects, such as volunteering at The Melton Center in West Chester. By interacting with others inside and outside of Church Farm School, serving others teaches our students practical skills while promoting self-worth and self-confidence.

The Church Farm brotherhood. 
Church Farm students are “brothers” to nearly 200 young men from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, making our community diverse, inclusive and unique. Every student — day and boarding — is assigned to a cottage, giving them a “family” with which to share experiences, meals and celebratory milestones, along with two cottage “parents” to depend on for guidance and support.

Engaged alumni.
Church Farm alumni may have graduated, but many are still actively involved and engaged with the school community. Alumni have the opportunity to mentor and advise students through panel discussions at campus events, including during alumni weekend, where they share career advice and answer student questions. Other opportunities for involvement include making an impact through leadership, fundraising and volunteering. 

Ensuring persistence. 
Mentorship doesn’t end at graduation. Our Alumni Success Program  keeps us connected to Church Farm alumni in college to help ensure they earn their bachelor’s degree. The program maintains connections with 200 graduates quarterly, and provides support, mentorship and guidance to help keep them on track, including assisting with college course selection, scheduling, being a supportive listener and sending care packages during exam season. 

A Church Farm education certainly centers around academics and exceptional learning experiences, but our students also benefit tremendously from the positive influences who interact with them daily, keeping their overall wellbeing and success as top priorities. In addition, Church Farm students are benefitting from serving as an example to others. 

Diahann Hughes, Church Farm’s Modern Language Chair and former Community Service Club coordinator, says  “Our students work closely with elementary students at the Melton Center and middle school students at St. James School to develop strong connections through mentorship by extending their core values of integrity, brotherhood, respect and responsibility, while helping to strengthen their academic and social skills. Our students are learning how to be effective role models to younger students in the community.” 

Discover all of the opportunities for your son at Church Farm School.
The Church Farm School is an independent boarding and day school for boys in grades 9-12 located in Exton, PA. Founded in 1918 to provide an excellent education to young men from limited means, Church Farm School now serves boys from a range of socio-economic circumstances who are seeking an extraordinary educational opportunity. The school offers a challenging college preparatory curriculum and an exceptional level of personal attention, with class sizes averaging between just 7 and 12 students.