VBEC ~ 3404 NORTH BEN WILSON ST, VICTORIA, TEXAS 77901 ~ (361) 572-8232

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Training Manual for Mentors 

Introduction

This Training Guide for Volunteer Mentors has been designed to be a reference guide for mentors. The primary objective of this initial mentor training manual is to confirm the commitment of the mentor, establish the basic parameters of the program, and to begin to prepare the mentors for the realities of the mentoring experience. It has been designed to set the stage for the mentor’s relationship with their youth and to give the mentors the information and tools necessary to be effective in their match.

VBEC  is honored to work with and support the many caring volunteers who step forward to assist the young people within our communities. We wish you success in your work and a meaningful volunteer experience!

1. Overview of  the Program

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Mentor Connect is offered for students in elementary, middle and high school. Whether they are being tutored, or getting to know their mentor, students realize they can achieve far more than they ever dreamed possible. Research shows that youth with mentors are more inspired to stay in school, achieve their goals, build relationships and develop positive self-esteem. Mentoring also enhances learning skills and improves academic performance.

2. Developmental assets for youth

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“Developmental assets” are factors-both external and internal-that decrease the likelihood that young people will engage in risky behavior and increase the chances they will grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible adults.

The following framework, developed by Search Institute (a research and training organization in Minneapolis), identifies 40 factors, or “assets,” that care critical for young people’s growth and development. The first 20 of these assets are external – positive experiences that youth should be receiving. The next 20 are internal – qualities that young people should (with the help of adults, communities, and institutions) be developing within themselves.

EXTERNAL ASSETS

The first 20 developmental assets focus on positive experiences that young people should receive from the people and institutions in their lives. Four categories of external assets are included in the framework.

  1. Support

Young people need to experience support, care, and love from their families, neighbors, and many others. They need organizations and institutions that prove positive, supportive environments.

  • Family support – love, communication, caring environment, parent involvement, encouragement, support system.
  • Other adult relationships – You person receives support from non-parent adults.
  1. Empowerment

Young people need to be valued by their community and have opportunities to contribute to others. For this occur, they must be safe and feel secure. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • The community values youth – Young person perceived that adults in the community value youth.
  • Be involved in community, serve others, feel safe at home, schoo, or in neighborhood.
  1. Boundaries and Expectations

Young people need to know what is expected of them and whether activities and behaviors are “in bounds” or “out of bounds.” The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Need clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person’s whereabouts- home, school, neighborhood.
  • Adult role models-Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
  • Positive peer influence – Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
  • High expectations- Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

 

  1. Constructive Use of Time

Young people need constructive, enriching opportunities for growth through creative activities, youth programs, congregational involvement, and quality time at home. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Creative activities, youth programs, regious community, staying engaged and involved out/in school programs.
  • Time at home – Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.

INTERNAL ASSETS

A community’s responsibility for its young does not end with the provision of external assets. There needs to be a similar commitment to nurturing the internalized qualities that guide choices and create a sense of purpose and focus.

  1. Commitment to Learning

Young people need to develop a lifelong commitment to education and learning. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Motivation for achievement-Young person is motivated to do well in school
  • Actively engaged in learning, doing homework or studies, bond with their school, reading for pleasure.
  1. Positive Values

Youth need to develop strong values that guide their choices. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Caring about others, Equality and social justice, integrity, responsibility, restrain from bad behavior.
  1. Social Competencies

Young people need skills and competencies that equip them to make positive choices, to build relationships, and to succeed in life. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Planning and decision making– Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
  • Interpersonal competence – Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
  • Plan and make decision, have interpersonal competence, resistance skills, cultural competence, being able to deal with conflict peacefully
  1. Positive Identity

Young people need a strong sense of their own power, purpose, worth, and promise. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Personal power – Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me”
  • Self-esteem – Young person reports having a high self-esteem
  • Sense of purpose– Young person reports that “my life has purpose”

Positive view of personal future – Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

3. Resources and Rules

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   3.1 Mentor Labs

Each lab is managed by a teacher. Mentoring sessions are 30 minutes (or more) once a week. You will work with the same child each time over the course of the school year. All materials are provided and the schedule is flexible. Before you are allowed to work with a child a background check must be completed.Training information will be available through your Mentor Lab Teacher. Currently we serve on six campuses: Hopkins Elementary, Patti Welder, Stroman, and Howell Middle School, East & West High School.

3.2 Ground Rules

As you know scheduling and management of the program is the most challenging piece to make all the connections occur for your students. Here are couple things that will need to be done each week:

  • Always have identification on you and sign in at the front desk of your school.
  • If for some reason you cannot make your session please call your Mentor Teacher to let her/him know so that a child is not disappointed that you did not make the session.
  • If you are going to be late please call the teacher.
  • Be flexible about working with other children and scheduling of students. Sometimes the student will go home early and not inform the teacher.

3.3 Confidentiality Issues

We ask that you keep the child’s name and any information pertaining to your child confidential. If the child shares with you information that may be alarming or concern you please discuss with the teacher.

3.4 Roles of Staff

  • Mentor Lab Teacher – he/she is the coordinator for schedules, students performance, turning in weekly reports, selecting participants, and maintaining communication with VBEC and others involved.
  • Program Director – he/she manages all paperwork, turns in background check information and keeps a record of mentors, collects weekly reports of mentors, handles any concerns over transportation, supplies, and communicates with teachers and director over any concerns of the program.

3.5 Roles of a Mentor

                  
• Take the lead in supporting  a young person through an ongoing, one-to –one relationship

• Serve as a positive role model

• Build the relationship by planning and participating in activities together Strive for mutual respect

• Build self-esteem and motivation

• Help set goals and work towards accomplishing them

• As an Academic Coach you will be tutoring a student in any subject area needed

• As a College Coach you will give support and information to connect the student with resources for college admission

• As a Life Coach- help organize student life, communicate about daily topics and/or concerns, guide student with difficult topics and be their cheerleader.

THE “GOOD MENTOR” CHARACTERISTICS

  • Good Mentors are caring adults.
  • Good Mentors like young people.
  • Good Mentors are good listeners.
  • Good Mentors are positive role models.
  • Good Mentors look for success.

The “Good Mentor” characteristics mentioned above serve as suggestions and guidelines. Everyone has their own style of mentoring and you will find what works best for you.

Mentees are seeking help that will build their confidence in learning skills which will improve their academic success. Remember that you are there for the individual student; however, you will find that mentoring is a very valuable way to build your confidence and personal growth.

Good Luck, Enjoy & Think Success

Dear Mentor:

Please write your name and any other comments you want to give us about our Mentor Connect program in the form below.

Thank You !

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