This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

A high school teacher recently told a student in Reality Changers, “No student who lives south of the 8 Freeway ever goes to college.”

While hundreds (if not thousands) of new high school graduates prove this statement to be untrue every year, such a stereotype persists in San Diego because a college-going culture is less prevalent in the southern half of the county than the northern half.

Fortunately, San Diego is uniquely situated to remedy this problem. With more college students and college graduates per capita than practically any other city in the United States, San Diego’s five major universities (California State University, San Marcos; Point Loma Nazarene University; San Diego State University; UC San Diego and University of San Diego) should require all of its second-year students to mentor San Diego youth who would be the first persons in their families to attend college.

Of course, not all college students would suitable mentors, so there would be a screening process and the choice for such college sophomores to opt out.

However, such a widespread commitment to service would potentially result in more than 100,000 new mentorships on an annual basis and truly create a college-going culture that would permeate all across San Diego County.

Christopher Yanov submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

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