The Results Speak For Themselves.

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    • Washington Lee High School
  • Princeton HS 1On Tuesday, August 16, mentors from the Ignition program welcomed the Class of 2015 to PHS. It was a day full of activity. The freshman began the day with school pictures, paying registration fees, and purchasing their PE uniforms. They were then introduced to the mentors who will help make the transition to high school a bit smoother. The mentors supported their freshmen as they navigated their way through a low ropes course before lunch. In... read more!
    • Princeton High School
    • Renee Kozeal
    • Ignition Advisor
  • Anchorage West High SchoolWest Anchorage High School is the only secondary school in the Anchorage School District that is fortunate to have the Ignition Program. We are ending our third year and next year we will have our first mentored freshman class graduate as the Class of 2012! The Ignition Program is the core of a mentorship class that is taught during the school day so it looks a bit different from the other programs. With the support of our administrators... read more!
    • West Anchorage High School
    • Lourdes Linato-Crawford
    • Ignition Advisor
  • DSC_0327Al Raby High School was the first Chicago Public School to pilot the Ignition program. At an inner city school with a reputation for poor performance, behavior issues, and little participation the Ignite orientation day was a great success! The team of mentors customized the kickoff experience by facilitating a variety of interactive workshops as part of the half-day event. Raby’s outdoor ropes adventure received rave reviews by the freshma... read more!
    • Al Raby High School
    • Chicago, IL
  • student mentorsThe first day of school can be a stressful time for an incoming freshman. Even more so if a student has special needs. Every student wonders: Will I get lost? Will I see my friends? Will I make new friends? Is it going to be harder than middle school? For Dylan at Monroe High School in Monroe, MI the questions and uncertainty became very overwhelming. Dylan has a harder time than most establishing new relationships. His communication style... read more!
    • Monroe High School
    • Monroe, MI


The purpose of FOCUS Training’s transition and mentorship programs is to empower high school students to succeed at all levels. We do this by: preparing them for the next step in their lives, teaching them to build connections, developing their leadership skills, and facilitating positive culture change.

Focus on Transition

Transition from middle school to high school and from high school to college are very challenging periods in a student’s life. More students make the decision to drop out in the 9th grade than any other grade level. Students in transition have more disciplinary issues and are less able to cope with personal challenges. However, those who  participate in a mentoring program have higher GPA’s and are more likely to attend college than do non-participants (Johnson, A. 1999). Even when socioeconomic status, gender, race, and other factors are held constant, students will be better prepared to take on the challenges associated with transition by working with a mentor in the Ignition or College Matters program.

Improve Connectivity

Successful transition programs have blended youth development approaches with contextual and authentic learning to include caring relationships, cognitive challenges, a culture of support, community, and connection to learning and career opportunities (Fuller, 2003). Our programming is designed to build connections between peers, new students and upperclassmen, and the school. We teach mentors how to acclimate students to their new environment, break out of their comfort zone, and establish positive relationships.

Leadership Development

For over two decades we have been delivering leadership development programs to students and teachers. Participants in Ignition and College Matters programs learn how to set effective goals that get results. They improve their ability to communicate through public speaking and interpersonal contact. They are better prepared to build and lead teams and conduct their lives in a positive and professional way.

Culture Change

As a part of every FOCUS Training program, students and staff identify strengths and opportunity areas of their school environment. Mentors are then empowered to bring about positive and meaningful changes. Schools that use our transition and mentorship programs report that apathy is reduced, fewer students are in trouble, and youth demonstrate a higher level of respect for one another. Positive culture change benefits all stakeholders in the school.

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