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Boston Urban Youth Foundation Volunteer Mentor Guide PowerPoint Presentation
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Boston Urban Youth Foundation Volunteer Mentor Guide

Boston Urban Youth Foundation Volunteer Mentor Guide

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Boston Urban Youth Foundation Volunteer Mentor Guide

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  1. Boston Urban Youth FoundationVolunteer Mentor Guide By: Laura Neal Techmission/ Americorp member at BUYF 2009/2010 term September 2010

  2. What Volunteer Mentors need to KNOW: • The context of their students • If working with poor or at-risk students, help them understand poverty and how that effects how kids relate to the world • What obstacles a student faces • How their (the mentor’s) background can effect their relationship with the student • Practical things to do and not do in mentoring • Tools to help them understand and work with their student

  3. Understanding Poverty • Poverty as Entanglement • Poverty as Broken Relationships • Marred Identity • Lack of Social Power • Lack of Social Capital • Embryo: the potential is present

  4. Poverty as Entanglement • There are systems present in the lives of people in poverty which work together to trap them in the situation they are in.

  5. Poverty as Broken Relationships • There are relationships embedded in society which assist people in life. • When those relationships are broken people are not able to reach their full potential

  6. When relationships are broken: • Self: They do not respect themselves as they deserve, or expect everything from themselves as they should • God: They do not see He created them as good or believe in the plans that He has for them. • Community: They are no longer respected, encouraged, and taken care of by those around them. • Environment: They are not able to work to support themselves as they should. • Others: People from outside their community do not respect them and do not give them access to opportunities.

  7. Marred Identity • A faulty thinking of who they are and what they can accomplish. • “When the poor accept their marred identity and their distorted sense of vocation as normative and immutable, their poverty is complete. It is also permanent unless this issue is addressed and they are helped to recover their identity as children of God, made in God’s image, and their true vocation as productive stewards in the world God made for them… The result of poverty is that people who are poor no longer who they are (being) nor do they believe that they have a vocation of any value (doing).” Bryant Meyers, Walking with the Poor

  8. Lack of Social Power • Poverty is when the different constructs of social power are too low for a family or household to be able to escape poverty on their own. • 8 types of Social Power • social networks • information for self-development • surplus time • instruments of work and livelihood • social organization • knowledge and skill • defensible life space • financial resources

  9. Social Capital • The institutions, relationships, and norms which shape a society’s social interactions. • Two categories of support which social capital provides for people: • Instrumental • Emotional

  10. Embryo: the potential is present • God created everyone as good. • The potential is there from the beginning, even if it is not seen. • Because if the fall, nothing works as it should. • Restoration is a process • We will never see full “development” or restoration until the coming of Christ.

  11. Basics of Mentoring • Develop Trusting Relationships • Encourage Empower and Connect • Understanding Context • Get Parents Involved • Avoid Creating Dependency

  12. Develop Trusting Relationships • Take it slow. • Let them come to trust you • Be Intentional and Consistent • Support the student in building positive relationships and developing their character • Not focusing on grades or behavior • Trusted friend • Not teacher • Provide them whatever emotional support they are lacking • Find common ground • 2-way relationship • Mutual listening and respect • Shared planning

  13. Encourage, Empower, and Connect • Emphasize their strengths and show them the power that they have. • Help them restore any marred and incorrect ideas about who they are. • Encourage positive behavior instead of dwelling on the negatives. • Help them believe in a different future. • Have them set goals. • Encourage and reward them when they meet benchmarks toward their goals. • Connect them to social power and opportunities they don’t know exist for them. • Facilitate but emphasize that it is their strength that is accomplishing that opportunity and not you.

  14. Understanding Context • Understand and deal with the mindset behind their behavior • Understand the home context • Understand constructs of their culture • Don’t make quick judgments when they do things you don’t understand • Understand the obstacles they face

  15. Get Parents Involved • Parent needs to trust you for you to have an impact. • You are not a replacement parent • Support them • Give them to tools to help encourage and support their child better • Understand where their priorities are and where they can contradict what you are trying to teach to their child • When you disagree- help them understand where you are coming from and why what you believe in is best for their child.

  16. Avoid Creating Dependency • Don’t do for them or their family what they can do for themselves. • Don’t give them material things • Connect them to resources that can help them. You are a Facilitator and Empowerer!

  17. Sticky situations chart Adapted from BEST initiative, Health Resources in Action, 2009 Youth Worker Certificate Program Handbook, pg 89.

  18. The Twelve “P’s” • Parents’ Guardians: Youth need to be cared for, supervised, and guided by the adults with whom they live. • People: Youth need strong, stable relationships with more than one adult. • Places: Youth need places to hang out, sleep, ne active, escape, and explore. • Purposes: Youth need short-term and long-term goals based on bother their own expectations and on those adults and peers in their lives/ Youth need to be depended upon to meet their goals and to be rewarded for doing so. • Plans: Youth need strategies for carrying out ideas, meeting responsibilities, and living up to expectations. • Principles: Youth need guidelines/ strategies for making decisions. • Possibilities: Youth need opportunities to learn, test, work, explore, interact, and contribute. • Preparation: Youth need explicit skill-building instructions across competency areas (and major problem prevention areas). • Peers: Youth need other young people to identify with and relate to others who are trying to achieve the same goals. • Protection: Youth need safe environments, safe practices taught to them and used by adults who work with them and assurances of protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and discrimination. • Power: Youth need opportunities to be heard, and give input, make decisions, and lead. • Promotion: Youth need to be expected to learn, to succeed, and to be responsible. Such expectations help youth to contribute in meaningful ways. • Adapted from BEST initiative, health resources in action, 2009 Youth Worker Certificate Program Handbook (Source: AED/Center for Youth Development and Policy Research)

  19. Adolescent Development Adapted from BEST initiative, Health Resources in Action, 2009 Youth Worker Certificate Program Handbook, pg 34.

  20. Ways to help build healthy boundaries • Help youth identify trustworthy peers. • Help youth identify and avoid people who are self-serving. • Help youth speak out when something is bothering them and learn methods for dealing with a variety of situations. • Encourage them to spend time with people they enjoy, who ask for nothing in return. • Encourage youth to think for themselves, think critically and responsibly, and not to be solely influenced by others. • Help youth to trust their feelings of comfort and discomfort. These feelings could be good indicators of right and wrong. • Teach problem-solving skills. • Find books, poems, articles, movies, etc. that are about setting appropriate boundaries. • Discuss situations about poor and healthy boundaries. Adapted from BEST Initiative, Health Resources in Action, 2009 Youth Certificate Program Handbook (Adapted from The Say Book: A Notebook for Therapists).

  21. Aspects of Identity • Safety and Structure: a perception that one is safe in the world and daily events are somewhat predictable. • Self-Worth: A perception that one is a “good person” who contributes to self and others. • Mastery and Future: A perception that one is “making it” and will succeed in the future. • Belonging and membership: A perception that one values and is valued by others in the family and in the community. • Responsibility and Autonomy: A perception that one has some control over daily events and is accountable for one’s own actions and for the consequences on others. • Self-Awareness and Spirituality: A perception that one is unique and is intimately attached to extended families, cultural groups, communities, higher deities, and/or principles. Best Initiative, Health Resources in Action, 2009 Youth Worker Certificate Program Handbook (Adapted from Academy for Educational Development)

  22. References • Best Initiative, Health Resources in Action, 2009 Youth Worker Certificate Program • Jucovy, Linda (1999). A Guide for New Mentors, Building Relationships, National Mentoring Center ( • Leadership Styles in Youth Work, YouthWork Practice ( • ( • Myers, B. L. (1999). Walking with the Poor: principles and practices of transformational development. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. • National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth ( • National Institute On Out-of-School Time ( • National Training Institute for Community Youth Work ( • Positive Youth Development, Find Youth Info ( • Youth Mentoring, Solutions for America ( • Violand-Sanchez, E & Hainer-Violand, J. (2006). The Power of Positive Identity. Educational Leadership, 36-40