All MECA arts students must comply with a “no pass, no play” policy requiring sufficient academic performance in order to participate in recitals and other events.· Students who are struggling in their academic classes may receive tutoring from community volunteers and university students.· The most commonly requested tutoring subjects are math and reading, but services are available for other academic courses.· Tutoring is provided at no additional cost for registered students, and for a small fee for students not enrolled at MECA.
The mentoring relationship is an important opportunity to serve as a counselor, advocate and friend for youth.· Community members and MECA’s older students may serve as mentors for younger students.
MECA staff frequently provides counseling for individuals experiencing difficult domestic, legal and personal situations.· These individuals approach MECA for assistance because it is a place they know with people they trust, and MECA staff members are able to connect these individuals with a community network support system.· MECA’s task is to take individuals in their uncertainty and guide them to a sense of harmony.· As stated by MECA’s programs director, staff are motivated by “the moment where a client recognizes their worth – and that they matter.”· For those cases MECA lacks the resources to adequately address, referrals to social services agencies are provided.
MECA strongly emphasizes higher education as a worthy and attainable goal for MECA students, many of whom would be the first in their families to earn a college degree. To that end, MECA provides resources and personal assistance for students in researching universities, financial aid opportunities and entrance exam preparation.
MECA regularly provides SAT workshops and practice exams for high school juniors and seniors preparing to apply to college. Participation in such preparation activities has been shown to help increase SAT scores, and may also ease testing anxiety in students. The 2011 SAT Preparation schedule will be posted soon.
College Application Support
The college application process can seem difficult and overwhelming, especially for parents navigating the higher education system for the first time or for those facing language and other barriers. MECA’s Support Services staff provides individualized assistance to overcome such challenges by helping students research majors and schools. Students receive help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Texas Common Application. In addition, MECA staff provides information regarding scholarship sources.
Social Service Referrals
As a United Way agency, MECA is connected to considerable network of social service organizations. Community members may approach MECA for assistance in finding such organizations that may be well suited to