PTM High Schoolers participate in a variety of programs to help build a sense of “connectedness”–connection to a caring adult, connection to a positive peer group, connection to a sense of self, connection to a sense of purpose, and connection to work-ready competence. These connections happen through formal and informal programs like those below.
The Calvin House Youth Program is a partnership between Preston Taylor Ministries and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Middle and high school students meet from 5:30-7:15 on Wednesday nights for dinner, games, worship, and family groups. Calvin House Youth participate in regular guys/girls nights out, service projects, and out-of-town retreats.
SaLT, or Servant and Leadership Training, serves a small group of high school students who meet on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:30. The program includes tutoring (general tutoring, ACT prep, college prep, etc.) and servant leadership development (job training, career exploration, service learning, manners, and other life skills needed for independence).
Dinner and Devo
PTM 9th-12th graders have an opportunity to come to PTM on Monday evenings during the school year from 6:00pm-7:30pm for dinner followed by Bible Study with a mentor. There are opportunities for mentors and mentees to enjoy fellowship experiences with one another.
Retreats and Outings
A big part of the high school experience is the “afterhours” opportunities to explore colleges, museums, overnight retreats, and outings. These experiences help inspire dreams and build life-long positive friendships.
Thrive is a program for recent high school graduates. They are matched with a mentor and meet once a week as a small group for life skills development and fellowship.
To support high schoolers in their pursuit of a “God-inspired dream”, PTM relies on a supportive group of staff and volunteers who help youth prepare for life after high school. This support comes through Circles of Connection (COC) Maps, Post-Secondary Comprehensive Plans (PSCPs), and Resource Teams.
Circles of Connection (COC) Maps
COC maps provide an opportunity to increase confidence and build self-esteem in students. Volunteers and staff meet twice a year with students to help them reflect on the connections they are building. COC Maps serve as a reminder and visual representation to students that they are resilient and have many supportive resources and personal strengths. COC maps are a tool for student goal-setting and accountability and provide a way to document a student’s journey.
Post-Secondary Comprehensive Plans (PSCPs)
These plans help students convert what they’ve learned about themselves from their COC maps into concrete, comprehensive plans for their high school and post-secondary careers. Volunteers and staff help students and their parents create these plans. For example:
- Define specific goals for your school year.
- Continue with good study habits, no unexcused absences, and get to know 2 teachers very well so they can write letters of recommendation for college or job applications!
- Start to seriously think about life after high school – What career do you want? Is it a good FIT for you? How do you get there? College? Certificate Program? Something else?
- Register and prepare to take the ACT.
- Start researching and visiting colleges or programs that will be required for you to pursue your career choice.
Resource teams are made up of volunteers with specialized experience to help provide support as needed. These teams include:
- School Liaison Team
- Every Fall, this team contacts the College Counselors at each high school where we have PTM juniors or seniors. In addition, the team becomes aware of the enrichment opportunities available to our students at each high school including: dual enrollment, AP/honors, certification pathways, and apprenticeships.
- Career Exploration Team
- This team provides support that helps students connect personal strengths and interests to careers, helping to identify possible majors or programs of study.
- College/Post-Secondary Options Team
- This team will have knowledge of and keep an updated file of local and state colleges, schools, and programs; and by request, help research other institutions. They will also keep a file connected to Military Options, Americorps or other “Gap Year” opportunities.
- Academic Readiness Team
- This team provides resources for academic support and will build relationships with and keep an updated file of community services that offer free tutoring and ACT prep, and their current calendars.
- School/College Finances Team
- This team will keep an updated file of financial aid and scholarship information/opportunities. By request, this team may connect students and families to other services for assistance, accompany them to appointments or events dealing with financial aid, or provide direct assistance with FAFSA filing/submissions or other financial aid applications.
- College Visits Team
- By request, this team accompanies PTM students to visit college campuses. An important part of the visit will be a discussion afterward about “college fit”, especially with regard to that specific college’s acceptance requirements and cost.
- College Application Team
- This team keeps track of PTM seniors who are applying to college and their “College Application Checklist.” By request, this team can assist seniors with completing applications, including applying for application fee waivers, ACT fee waivers, and following up with schools after submission.