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Out Here in the Field: Special Issues for Rural Mentoring Programs


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This webinar was presented on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, as part of the free monthly series from Friends for Youth's Mentoring Institute.

Combining presentation and interaction to address some of the challenges unique to rural mentoring programs, this webinar provides tips and strategies for dealing with recruiting in sparsely populated areas, confidentiality, transportation issues, high-risk activities like four-wheeling and hunting, sustainability, and other areas.

We’re pleased to be featuring two presenters from the January 2011 Friends for Youth conference, Kathryn Eustis and Dena Valin. Kathryn Eustis is the founding director of the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program in the Sierra Foothills and Dena Valin, Ed.D., is Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County, both serving rural areas in Northern California.

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Out Here in the Field: Special Issues for Rural Mentoring Programs

  1. 1. Out Here in the Field: Special Issues for Rural Mentoring Programs Friends for Youth s Mentoring Institute September2011 Webinar
  2. 2. Webinar Logistics: Adding Comments•  All attendees muted for best sound•  Type questions and comments in the question box; responses will either be direct to you or shared with all attendees•  Raise your hand to be unmuted at end to ask question live during webinar •  Works best for telephone or headset-to-computer connections •  Please monitor background noise
  3. 3. PanelistsSarah Kremer, ATR-BC Kathryn Eustis Dena ValinProgram Director Founding Director Executive DirectorFriends for Youth s Calaveras Youth Big Brothers BigMentoring Institute Mentoring Program Sisters of Nevada County
  4. 4. Link to slides andrecording of webinar willbe posted to survey upon exitingwebinar and resource linksin follow-up email
  5. 5. Out Here in the Field:Special Issues for Rural Mentoring Programs
  6. 6. 5 Key Challenges— Mentor Recruitment— Sustainability— Match Activities— Transportation— Confidentiality
  7. 7. Mentor RecruitmentChallenge: Recruiting Men —  Present to or meet with groups where men are predominant —  Interest-based/targeted recruitment —  Word of mouth: referrals from existing mentors —  Recruit couples
  8. 8. Mentor RecruitmentChallenge: Socio-Economic Barriers —  Select special mentors to help recruit higher SES mentors —  Emphasize that your mentees are volunteers; resist stereotypes —  Recruit community leaders as examples and magnets for others
  9. 9. Mentor RecruitmentChallenge: Fewer Media Outlets —  Recruit people in media to be mentors —  Use roadside banners for visibility —  Create online presence using Social Networking sites, websites, electronic newsletters, banner ads CalaverasYouthMentoringProgram —  Wide-spread distribution of brochures —  Form a Speakers Bureau and/or outreach committee
  10. 10. Mentor RecruitmentChallenge: Lack of CorporatePartnership Opportunities —  Go to larger employers in area (UPS, County Government, PG&E) —  Don t forget that local small businesses can also be partners!
  11. 11. Forming Business Partnerships —  Step 1: Assigning the task of developing business partnerships to the right person in your agency —  Step 2: Identifying Target Companies by identifying the Critical Few. —  Step 3: Creating and Sharing the Mentoring Story —  Step 4: Developing a Relationship —  Step 5: Engaging and Involving —  Step 6a: Preparing to ask and asking for the partnership —  Step 6b: Recruiting and enrolling employee volunteers —  Step 7: Providing Stewardship and Accountability
  12. 12. SustainabilityChallenge: Lack of CorporatePartnership Opportunities —  See Mentor Recruitment SlideChallenge: Organizational Structure —  Become a part of umbrella organization or a national/larger organization
  13. 13. SustainabilityChallenge: Access to neededinformation/data to make your case —  Partner with entities who collect the data you need: —  Schools —  County Departments (Public Health, Probation, Behavioral Health, etc.) —  Collaborate on grant proposals and combine efforts to collect data
  14. 14. SustainabilityChallenge: Community awareness andsupport —  Create an event that brings the community together
  15. 15. Match ActivitiesChallenge: Recreation Can Be Costly —  Identify community service opportunities —  Encourage matches to fundraise for their own activities —  Partner with schools to get free tickets to school functions —  Create a Match Advantage Program
  16. 16. Match Advantage ProgramThis special program allows volunteer mentors to enjoytime with their mentees while receiving a discount whenthey visit participating local businesses. This helps reducethe cost for the volunteers who choose to take theirmentees to local restaurants, shops and other businesses.— How does it work? —  The business owner or manager defines what type of discount or special promotion they d like to offer your volunteer mentors. —  You issue a Match Advantage Card to each volunteer listing all of the partner businesses and the discounts they offer. —  Volunteers must present their match cards to receive the discount. Cards include the volunteer s name, the mentee s name and the date of match.
  17. 17. Match ActivitiesChallenge: Greater exposure to high-risk activities —  Make sure you know what activities your liability insurance will and will not cover —  Create clear policies on non-allowable activities and train matches on them
  18. 18. Parent-Mentor ConferenceSection IV of Agenda:Possible Areas of Concern to Be Discussed A Money B Family Contact/Pick up/Drop Off C Special Permissions and Insurance Restrictions D Medical Emergencies E Food Issues and Allergies F Values and Discipline G Communication and Confidentiality, with each other and the program H Goals/Accomplishments during the year
  19. 19. Clarify What Your Insurance Covers The Mentoring Program has purchased additional coverage for the following activities that mentors and mentees enjoy doing together: Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Hiking, Riding ATVs, Fishing, Bike Riding, Use of Power Tools (for woodworking, etc.), Sledding, River Tubing Please note that there is NO INSURANCE COVERAGE for the following activities. Therefore, they are not allowed while participating in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program: Riding Motorcycles, Using Chainsaws, Target shooting and/or ANY use of guns, Motor-boating, Trampolines
  20. 20. TransportationChallenge: Mentors won t commute tomeet with their mentees —  Recruit mentors geographically/by where the mentees live —  Choose a mentor who lives near the child s school —  Provide incentives for mentors to drive the distance (gas cards, tax write off, turn drive time into mentoring time) —  For children on waiting list, invite parents to accompany them in group activities
  21. 21. ConfidentialityChallenge: Smaller communities createless anonymity —  Create and share confidentiality policy with volunteers and staff —  Provide opportunities for mentors to talk about their challenges in a safe, confidential environment
  22. 22. Q&A—  Any other challenges for rural mentoring programs not mentioned here?—  Further questions can be directed to: Kathryn: (209) 736-6092 Dena: (530) 273-2227
  23. 23. Thank You!Don t forget to signup for the ruralmentoring forum onthe NationalMentoring Center sweb site at:
  24. 24. Link to slides andrecording of webinar willbe posted to survey upon exitingwebinar and resource linksin follow-up email
  25. 25. Next Webinar Tuesday, October 18 Mentoring Impacts on Alcohol,Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention
  26. 26. 650-559-0200 105093182858863