Ehrica Martin, Dean of Instruction, Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth, didn’t have a mentor when she was growing up in Chicago.
She and her brother were raised by a single mother who “worked really hard on us.”“We were expected to go to college, but it was up to us to figure out how we accomplished that goal,” said Ms. Martin, who is in charge of the YWLA mentor program launched on March 20.
The former teacher and assistant principal found her way without the guidance of a mentor. “I could have used someone at that stage of my life to help me make the right decisions,” she said.
Martin has been successful, earning a bachelor’s degree in education from Jarvis Christian College in East Texas and a master’s degree in education leadership from Prairie View A&M. She has been Dean of Instruction at Fort Worth Independent School District for six years.
Ms. Martin has high hopes that the relationships established between students and mentors at YWLA extend beyond graduation. “These young ladies need someone besides their parents to help them make college selections, career decisions and good life choices,” she explained. “You know parents don’t know a thing when you’re a sophomore in high school."
The YWLA’s program was designed with input from another all-female school, Irma Rangel Academy in Dallas, and the national Foundation for Education of Young Women.
“The YWLA Board, as well as Tracy Marshall and Cynthia Fisher Miller, was especially helpful finding mentors and helping us design the program,” she said.“The girls are SO excited! Everyone is anxious about meeting her mentor on April 11. Ironically, the survey we asked both mentors and mentees to complete that ranked their choices lined up almost perfectly. The matches were pretty clear.”
Mentors and mentees will be matched on April 11 at the academy at a special date night.