WHAT IS COMPACT? Orlando/Orange County COMPACT, an Orange County Public School (OCPS) Program, is an education and business partnership aimed at encouraging challenged students to succeed in school and reach their maximum potential.
HOW AND WHEN DID COMPACT ORIGINATE? Recognizing the need to help reverse the rising dropout rate and assist high school students, in April of 1989, then Orlando Mayor Bill Frederick organized the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Opportunities. With a charge to develop a program that would “promote opportunity for all youth, especially the less advantaged” the commission presented Mayor Frederick their report in April of 1989 and thus COMPACT became a reality. It officially began in April of 1989 with a pilot program of 14 students at Jones High School.
IS COMPACT AN ACRONYM? No. COMPACT signifies the agreement between business and education and between mentor and student.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A COMPACT MENTOR? To become a COMPACT mentor you must first have the desire to help a student with academic and/or other problems and the time to devote about one hour per week during school hours to meet one-on-one with your student. Many mentors indicate that they benefit from the experience as much as the student they help.
HOW LONG IS YOUR COMMITMENT TO SERVE AS A MENTOR? COMPACT requests that you commit to one academic year (September through May) with the student to which you are assigned. The decision to continue beyond the first year is strictly an individual one. Some returning mentors continue their relationship with their student and others are assigned to another student.
WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A MENTOR? All volunteers are considered OCPS Additions Volunteers and are subject to a background check before being allowed to volunteer. Additionally there is an orientation session that is required prior to your first meeting with your student as well as follow-up sessions throughout your mentoring experience. These sessions are arranged at convenient times and locations to accommodate the volunteers.