The SPFHS co-mentorship program is a push for awareness and activism in the community


Charlotte Gumpel, Staff Writer

As this tumultuous school year is winding down to a close, the Co-Mentorship program at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School is beginning to implement their research and help make a difference in certain issues affecting the student body. The Co-Mentorship Program was created by a group of SPF English teachers who were passionate about making positive changes around the school. The people chosen for this student-lead club were chosen by demonstrating promising behaviors and beliefs in the classroom that led teachers to believe they can better the school.  


The goal of the program is to place students in strategic partnerships to allow them to explore a topic of interest or a problem they are seeing in their community,” English teacher at SPFHS Dr. Kanika Chopra said. “They do research to contextualize the problem and consider various stakeholders in the process. Ultimately, they design a plan of action and work toward implementation.”


With around 10 projects in the works and around 25 participating students, many target issues are being addressed within the community. Some projects include a mental health service group, a culture appreciation day in history classes, aid for refugees, an event to celebrate LGBTQIA+ unity, a project to make menstrual products free in SPF bathrooms and a mission to make AP and honors classes more accessible to underrepresented students. 


Sophomore Jake Jones is a participant in the Co-Mentorship projects and he aims to make a palpable difference in the lives of SPF students.


The impact my group and I are trying to make in the SPF community is proper representation and inclusion for the immigrant student body,” Jones said. “My group felt that immigrants are one of the most under-represented minority groups at SPF, so we made it our goal to change that.”


Chopra also believes that the Co-Mentorship program will not only make strides towards making the SPF community a safer place, but it will also bridge the divide between the staff and the student body. 


“A large part of the students’ support comes from teachers and administrators who have volunteered their time to serve as adult advocates,” Chopra said. “Their primary role is to help students navigate any roadblocks that may emerge in the process. In this sense, the program is designed to bring educators and students closer together as they effect change in the community.” 


The Co-Mentorship is a living example of the power of student-led projects and how unity brings palpable change. Jones urges all SPF students, staff and parents to take a look around their community and find a way to improve by informing the program. 


A way the SPF community can help with these projects is by reporting any problems they notice occurring in school to the Co-Mentorship Club so one of the many groups can work on solving it!” Jones said.