Meet our Group Mentoring Pilot Schools!

Posted by JD Graffam on November 11, 2010

In January 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation will implement a group or “team” mentoring program in two public charter school sites, Freedom Preparatory Academy in North Memphis and Power Center Academy in the Hickory Hill area. Grizzlies “TEAM” Mentoring will enable the Foundation and our partners to reach more youth, engage more volunteers, and foster retention among volunteers. We hope to offer this model for replication to other MMP member groups, so stay tuned and follow our progress. Meanwhile, meet our new MMP members:

Freedom Team Mentoring Program

Freedom Preparatory Academy prepares students in grades 6 through 12 to excel in college and in life through dedication to the mission of college preparation through a highly structured, academically rigorous environment where students master the core subjects, develop advanced academic skills and demonstrate the school’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Excellence, and Community.

The Freedom Team Mentoring Program will serve students in Grades 6 and 7 by conducting activities that address a variety of topics but emphasize leadership development, health and wellness, and college preparation. Participants of the program will also enjoy field lessons to places such as museums and basketball games. 
Team mentoring matches three mentors with groups of nine students. The three mentors work as a team to mentor all nine students. Mentor team members work collectively to facilitate weekly activities, discussions and field lessons.  Teams will meet on Wednesdays from 4 to 5:30pm. The initial volunteer commitment will be for 18 months and continue on an academic year calendar after the first year.

For more information on the Freedom Team Mentoring Program, contact N’seeka MacPherson at 901-259-5959 or

Power Center Academy Charter School Team Up

Power Center Academy in the heart of the Hickory Hill community serves grades 6 through 8. PCA students come from diverse areas of the city.  The academy provides an extended day experience for the students, beginning at 7:15am and ending at 4:45pm.  The school is dedicated to changing the lives of students, ultimately making an impact on the Hickory Hill Community.

The mission of Power Center Academy is to develop future leaders of the community by teaching scholars to be innovative thinkers, problem solvers, and humanitarians.Integrated into the mission are the Five PCA Pillars which guide scholars’ daily behavior and attitude:
1. Respect yourself, your peers, and your community
2. Be proud of your work, your school, and your life.
3. Take ownership of your thoughts, choices, and actions.
4. Seek to innovate, create, and dream big.
5. Be prepared for success.

PCA provides a college preparatory curriculum anchored in five core components: (1) Rigorous Curriculum - Scholars are engaged in a technology-rich, standards based curriculum.  The curriculum is based on a constructivist framework. (2) Entrepreneurship - Scholars are provided curriculum resources, teaching strategies and productivity tools to research and define their own entrepreneur efforts. (3) Financial Literacy - Our scholars are offered the opportunity to learn financial literacy through real-world experiences.  Through a partnership with Sun Trust Bank, our scholars will run their own Youth Bank. (4) Technology - Scholars are afforded the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology.  Through a partnership with Apple, Inc., one MacBook is provided for each child enrolled at the academy. (5) Community Service - Power Center Academy wants students to invest in their communities; that is why service is a vital part of Power Center Academy’s mission.  Students at the academy have many opportunities to give back to through service learning projects.

The mentoring program will serve male students in the 7th and 8th grade. Group mentoring teams include three mentors with groups of nine students. Groups meet one hour per week, either 2:30 to 3:30pm or 4:30 to 5:30pm on Thursdays. Periodic group outings are also scheduled during the school year. Commitment is for 18 months beginning in January of 2011. For more information about the Power Center Academy Program, contact Anne Frisby, School Counselor, at 901-333-6874 or

The process to become involved at either site is the same: Volunteer mentors must submit an application and agree to a background and fingerprint check and personal interview. Mentors will attend a 3- hour training/ orientation and have opportunities for follow-up enrichment.


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The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is committed to serving Memphis youth through education and mentoring.