Graduation Coaches

Our Graduation Coaches are volunteers from diverse communities, professions and age groups who support students through critical transitions from middle to high school, and from high school to life after graduation.

Graduation Coaches and student
Grad Coach and students

The most important factor in a young person's success is a consistent relationship with a caring adult.

Students with mentors are more likely to feel connected to school, have better self-esteem and experience greater success in setting and achieving their goals. But one in three young people grow up without this kind of supportive adult.  

We're working hard to fill this gap. Our Graduation Coaches provide personalized support to 9th and 12th grade students as they transition into and out of high school, and build the skills and confidence they need to be successful in school and beyond.

We provide the curriculum. You bring the wisdom and commitment. 

Our Graduation Coaches provide 5-6 hours of volunteer time each month in a high school classroom throughout the school year. We provide curriculum, training and ongoing support. 

This investment of time and care pays off. Last year, 96% of our participating seniors completed the program with a solid plan for post-secondary education, work or other opportunities after graduation.  

Watch our video

Graduation Coaches video Paying it Forward

 Rattana Sengsoulichanh, third year Graduation Coach

Meet our Graduation Coaches and students

Coach Mat

Coach Mat

Student Antonio

Student Antonio


Coach Deebaa

Graduation Coach Maya with students

Coach Maya

Student Evelyn

Student Evelyn

Graduation Coach Daniel

Coach Daniel

The students you'll mentor

Small groups of 9th grade students

who may need additional support. You'll help them with their goal setting, relationship-building and early college and career awareness.

Individual 12th grade students

who may not be on track to graduate. You'll focus on supporting goal setting, academic confidence, career exploration and post-secondary planning. 


Our Graduation Coaches in action

Grad Coaching
Grad Coaching
Grad Coach
Graduation Coach Candace

Meet Candace

University of Minnesota student Candace is a Graduation Coach with 9th graders at Edison High. Learn how she's giving back to students at her alma mater.

Graduation Coach and student
Graduation Coaches and student
Graduation Coach and student

Laysha and Bonsa

Laysha and her husband Bill coached Edison student Bonsa for two years. Read Bonsa's story about the impact their support had on his life, and Laysha and Bill's reflection on their work with him.  

Graduation Coach and student
Graduation Coach and student
Graduation Coach and student

How the program works



Graduation Coaches must commit to volunteer for the full academic year, with 5-6 hours per month. Applications are typically open May-June for the following school year.


Get oriented

In August and September, we'll provide an orientation, curriculum materials and on-going training to ground you in the program. 


Get matched with students

In September, you will speed-network with students during your first session to find the right match. 


Start Coaching

From September - May, you’ll meet with your student/s for one hour twice a month at their high school and provide additional email support between meetings.


Ongoing Support

Our team provides feedback and encouragement throughout the program.


Additional Training

We can also connect you with other resources to build your mentoring and facilitation skills. 


Contact Graduation Coaches Manager Amy Shapiro at 612-455-1550.

"My Graduation Coach doesn’t know the full impact he had on me. He wasn’t just another person asking 'What’s your GPA?' He was someone who helped me figure out my life and put things in a new perspective."