Welcome to the Mentoring Corner. Here you will find important information on mentoring in general and plans for the Brooklyn Legends Mentorship Program as they unfold over time. One important resource is the video featured at the start of this page — Katie Couric interviews First Lady Michelle Obama on the important of role models and mentoring in the lives of young people.
As we prepare to take this journey the Brooklyn Legends Mentorship team will participate in several training programs, consult with educators and leaders in the field and refer to trusted resources and guides that speak to policy and best practices in the field.
Mentoring – a traditional definition.
The classic definition, as set forth by MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnership, is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee.
What are the different types of Mentoring available?
Responsible mentoring can occur in these forms:
- Traditional mentoring: a one to one partnerships consisting of one adult and one young person.
- Group mentoring: a pairing of one adult with up to four young people.
- Team mentoring: a paring of several adults with several small groups of young people in which the adult-to-youth ratio does not exceed 1:4.
- Peer mentoring: a situation where caring youth will mentor another youth. This is typical of a big brother/big sister relationship.
- E-mentoring: this is a nod to the new era where adults are paired with young people and they communicate via e-mail and the internet. This can take many forms – Skype sessions, Go-To-Meeting sessions are two popular ways this connection can take place.
How has Mentoring evolved today? MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnerships provides this overview.
Mentoring is a time-proven strategy that can help young people of all circumstances achieve their potential. Mentors are caring individuals who, along with parents or guardians, provide young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and a constructive example.
When embarking on projects such as this, it is important to keep in mind mentoring is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. It is important to keep in mind that while young people may very well benefit from a mentoring relationship, each person has his/her own individual needs. For the program to be effective, it must be created in a way that allows flexibility to meet each participant’s personal needs, while creating a safe and welcoming environment for the mentoring relationship to flourish.
What are some necessary elements for a successful Mentoring program?
- Build, and maintain, a steady, reliable presence in the mentee’s life. It is essential to show up for scheduled meetings. If this isn’t possible, the mentee must be told immediately and another means of communicating should be put into place.
- Always focus on the mentee’s needs, instead of the mentor’s wants.
- Incorporate lighter moments into the mentoring process. Yes, fun is allowed and encouraged.
- Mentors should get to know the mentee’s family and understand and respect the parent’s wishes at all times.
- Mentors should always seek out and use the resources provided by the program staff.
This is a preview of what is yet to come. We hope that you will continue this journey with us.