Tips for Mentoring High Risk Youth


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Tips for Mentoring High Risk Youth

  1. 1. Tips for Mentoring High Risk Youth Collaboration of Education Northwest/NationalMentoring Center, Friends for Youth, MentoringPartnership of Minnesota, and Oregon Mentors February 2012
  2. 2. 2012 Collaborative Mentoring Webinar Series Michael Garringer Resource Advisor & Forums o Research Administrator National Mentoring Center at o Practice Education Northwest o Innovation Celeste Janssen Program DirectorDate: Third Thursday of every month. Oregon MentorsTime: 10-11:15am Pacific/11am- Sarah Kremer12:15pm Mountain/12-1:15 pm Program DirectorCentral/1-2:15pm Easter Friends for Youth’s Mentoring InstituteCost: Free April Riordan Director of Training & Partnerships Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota 1
  3. 3. Special GuestDr. Roger Jarjoura, Assistant Professor in theSchool of Public and Environmental Affairs - IUPUI 2
  4. 4. Aftercare for Indiana through Mentoring (AIM) A reentry program targeting juveniles in the correctional system who will be transitioning back to their communities within a year. 3
  5. 5. Mentoring Can be TransformativeIf mentors are properly “prepared”, they caninfluence the youth in meaningful and significantwaysWe may not see immediate short-term changes,but long-term personal growth has a lot to do withthe adults in their lives 4
  6. 6. Targeted Mind Growth Helping youths think about how they thinkUse case histories to explore skills •Decision making •Problem solving •Example: what can youths learn from studying the life of Tookie Williams? 5
  7. 7. Targeted Mind GrowthTeaching a brain function byexplaining the function, teaching thename for the function, offeringchance to practice and strengthenthe functionFunctions include decision making, expressivelanguage, prioritization, brainstorming, problemsolving, etc. 6
  8. 8. Communication Skills•Expressing self clearly andcoherently, both verbally andnonverbally•Listen and learn how theyouth feels•Not responding in a hostile, sarcastic, or anxiousmanner•Observe the youth’s subtle, nonverbal messages ina very careful manner 7
  9. 9. Listen•“Just listening” gives youth achance to vent and lets themknow that they can disclosepersonal matters to you withoutworrying about being criticized•When you listen, the youth cansee that you are more than just anauthority figure 8
  10. 10. Listening•On average, people retain only 25% of whatthey hear. There are many reasons why: – We perceive listening as a passive activity and find the prolonged concentration required impossible to maintain – The average person speaks at 130 words per minute, whereas our thinking speed is 500 words per minute. Consequently, we are continually jumping ahead or go on “mental walk-about” thinking of other things. 9
  11. 11. Trust•Be non-judgmental•Allow youth to talk about his/her past in his/herown time•Respect the youth’s confidences as long as theydo not affect the health and welfare of the youthand others•Relating to the youth and understanding feelingwithout condescension and emotional involvement•Don’t obsess about the “truth” 10
  12. 12. Interpersonal Skills •Recognizes and accepts the diversity of others •Gives appropriate advice •Flexible and adaptable to new situations 11
  13. 13. Other Interpersonal Skills•Able to suggest but not dictate•Prepared for disappointments and setbacks•Uses disappointments and setbacks to enhancerelationship with offender •Aware of the youth’s ability to manipulate •A good sense of humor •Patient 12
  14. 14. Be Positive•Offer frequent expressionsof direct confidence•Be encouraging even whentalking about potentiallytroublesome topics•Offer concrete assistance 13
  15. 15. Keep in Mind…Mentoring is about•Investing in relationship•Choices•Modeling behaviorMentoring is about giving, but we can’t takeit personally 14
  16. 16. Mentoring Programs Can inspire and guide peopleto pursue successful and productive futures, reaching their potential through positive relationships andutilization of community resources 15
  17. 17. Start with a big vision for the ultimate outcomeProductively engagedadult citizens 16
  18. 18. Don’t aim too lowImagine the son of your favorite sister haslanded in the juvenile justice system or thefoster care system. What supports wouldyou like to see for him? Should we expect any different for the kids we serve? 17
  19. 19. Preparing Youth for Adulthood This book is aimed at educators, but you will find it relevant to your work. There are great examples throughout the book that can be implemented immediately. 18
  20. 20. PartnershipsIf you believe that it takes a village…At the end of the time that the youth areinvolved in your program, what do you wantto be able to have in place for the youth? 19
  21. 21. How does the Mentor fit in?•Do you equip your mentors?•Can you set the structure of the program sothat mentors know to seek out theresources?•A Key Skill for the youth: AccessingResources•Another Key Skill: Asking for Help 20
  22. 22. Normal Adolescent Development•Impulsivity declines with age•Sensation-seeking declines with age•Future orientation increases with age•As people age, they spend more timethinking before they act•Resistance to peer pressure increases withageBased on Griffin (2010), Northwestern University Law School 21
  23. 23. Make Sure•You are preparing your mentors tounderstand•Give mentors the tools to meet kids wherethey are at•Is your program developmentallyappropriate? 22
  24. 24. Relationships are Critical•Between the program and juvenile justice system•Between the program and the greater community•Between the program and the mentors•Between the program and the youth•Between the mentors and the youth Most programs challenges can be attributed to under-nurtured or non-existent relationships (and can be fixed!) 23
  25. 25. Time: A Numbers Game•Think about the number ofhours there are in a week•How much of that time will ayouth spend in the “company”of a mentor?•How is the remaining timebeing spent? 24
  26. 26. Questions are Useful•Asking some specific questions can convince them thatyou are qualified.•Remember that they want help with their future- askquestions about their plans/desires related to work orschool.•Ask them about what makes them nervous about beingreleased and then inquire as to their plans to deal withthose concerns.•Offer to gather information on potential careers orcommunity resources that target their specific needs, andthey will be convinced that you are planning to “work” forthem. 25
  27. 27. Effective Programs•Focus their efforts on tapping into theinternal motivation of mentors by: – Helping them become more competent – Assessing the relevance of their work – Building their sense of belonging to a worthwhile effort 26
  28. 28. The Secret to Recruiting Volunteer Mentors…•Mentor recruitment ambassadors•First decide who the right mentors would beand go get them 27
  29. 29. Mentor Accountability•How do you plan to hold mentorsaccountable?•What messages do they hear from you? – Are those messages empowering or discouraging? 28
  30. 30. Evidence•Is important on a number of different levels•How can you build the case that what youare doing is working? Compile “good stories”•How can you determine IF what you aredoing is working?•Is there evidence that the outcomes arebetter for the youth? Is it the result of yournew strategy? 29
  31. 31. Before we go…Attendees will receive an emailafter the webinar that will include: Link to presentation slides Resources Contact informationAn online recording of thewebinar should be available inthe future.Please help us by taking the timeto complete a short 5-questionsurvey as you exit the webinar. 30
  32. 32. Next WebinarMarch 16 – Innovative Matching Strategies Future webinars in 2012 on the third Thursdays of each month (send us your suggestions on topics!) 31
  33. 33. Thank you! Collaboration of Education Northwest/NationalMentoring Center, Friends for Youth, MentoringPartnership of Minnesota, and Oregon Mentors Michael Garringer, Celeste Janssen, Sarah Kremer, April Riordan,