How We Work

PYO is built on the idea that each child flourishes best when surrounded by multiple supportive adults. This is why we match each of our students with a team of four mentors:

Students learn workplace and social skills during the Summer Career Academy

Students learn workplace and social skills during the Summer Career Academy

  1. A community-based mentor – an adult volunteer who meets with them year-round for at least 4-6 hours/month. The basic goal of mentoring is to provide the child with a caring adult friend who supports them as they navigate their teen years, set and pursue their life goals, and to just plain have fun together.
  2. A tutor – a Duke student volunteer who tutors them twice/week in their identified “challenge class.”
  3. A school-based mentor – a teacher chosen by the student who supports them at school by challenging them in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.
  4. A job-based/professional mentor – one or more adults at their summer or school-year internship placement. After completing job training through one of our summer academies, interns are matched with an internship placement that gives them the opportunity to explore their career interests and develop core competencies that will prepare them to succeed in a professional environment.

By surrounding our students with a team of mentors our hope is that each PYO student will…

  • Receive the support and resources necessary to help them improve their academic performance, graduate on time, and pursue post-secondary education.
  • Generate income from paid internships and stay out of trouble when school is not in session
  • Gain work experience that makes them more employable in the future.
  • Broaden their horizons and steer away from gangs, poverty, and unemployment.

View all PYO programs for more details about our internships, core competencies, and other program components.