PSST give kids an a door for them and they will walk through it.
Lois Loofbourrow, Board Member PSST Healdsburg
Philippe Hobson introduced Lois and gave a detailed history of her background including the success that she had with mentoring programs in San Francisco prior to coming back to Healdsburg. She was born and raised in Healdsburg and has always admired the service orientation of our community.
She is a board member of the PSST –Public Schools Success Team–that has been operating in Healdsburg for 5 years. This is a program for mentoring students starting in the 5th grade and cvarrying through until high school graduation.  The program begins in the 4th grade when teachers are interviewed and asked which students might benefit from PSST. Students are then asked to apply to be part of the PSST prep team and are exposed to the mentoring process through their teachers, community adults, and trained high school volunteers. The program begins in the 5th grade with active mentoring. All mentors and tutors receive extensive training in the process, which helps them connect with their students. Throughout her presentation Ms. Loofbourrow likened the services of PSST to opening a door for a student to the world of greater educational opportunities and personal development with the guidance of successful business people and respected peers. The relationships formed between the student and the mentors are lifelong.
Not only are the mentors helpful in academic pursuits of math, critical thinking, writing skills and reading, but they also serve as coaches for nonacademic issues. These center around adjustment to the social environment and by maintaining contact with a group of positive-attitude individuals who are confident in the success that can be had by hard work and careful guidance.
Students who complete the PSST program, going from 5th grade through high school graduation, are guaranteed an admission position at Sonoma State University, providing they meet the minimum academic standards.
She recounts the story of a girl in a program in San Francisco who in the 7th grade decided that she would like to attend Wesleyan University. When asked why she wanted to do that, she said that her tutor, a college freshman, was attending Wesleyan University and told her that she was “Wesleyan material”. The young girl did attend Wesleyan, got her degree and later got an advanced degree from Yale. The door had been opened for her by her tutor and with careful support and nurturing, she was able to achieve a significant goal.
PSST offers a 5 credit elective class for 10th through 12th grade students in which  students  are placed as helpers in every class at Fitch Mountain School. They also serve as tutors to the fifth-grade PSST  prep class where they become role models and friends of the young students.
PSST is always looking for volunteers. It takes 10-15 volunteers per class to staff each program. Volunteers are encouraged to contact or at (707) 494-4968.