Postdoctoral researcher in the Mentoring Urban Talent project. A number of secondary schools that offer the academic tracks in Rotterdam and Amsterdam call attention to the relatively large number of pupils from migrant and low socio-economic backgrounds being downgraded to lower educational tracks in the third and fourth grades. This situation is considered a loss of urban talent, as these pupils are eligible for the academic tracks and, from a social justice perspective, everything possible should be done to retain them. The current proposal aims to contribute to the goal of retaining urban talent by 1) researching the problem of downgrading in more detail and 2) investigating student-to-peer mentoring as a possible solution. In this mentoring project, students from university — Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and Vrije Universiteit/Free University Amsterdam (VU) — are matched with pupils from five different schools for secondary education in both cities. The students are trained and then matched to an individual pupil. They then meet with their pupils during homeroom classes for six months. The mentoring will revolve around a question posed by the pupils themselves, with the underlying goal of supporting their sense of belonging and motivation, school performance and their pathway to higher education. The process and effects of the mentoring project are investigated in a mixed-method study. We will examine differential effects as well: do pupils from low SES and/or migrant backgrounds profit more from the mentoring? Finally, we will also conduct a study on the effects on the mentors themselves.