Archive for March, 2011
To help create synergy within a team, Winning Futures asks students and mentors to work together to develop a team sign at their first meeting. On the sign, teams will have their team name, logo, slogan as well as all the group members names. Teams are encouraged to be creative and have fun with it. This brainstorming process is a great team building exercise and helps both the mentors and students to learn about one and other.
After designing the “blueprint”, mentors are asked to come up with the final product using common things that they have around their house (3-D materials, feathers, glitter, stickers, etc.), and bring it to each meeting with their team. This sign is a great reminder on what their team stands for!
Attitude is the way you communicate your mood to others, and a major part of job success. Teaching students the importance of a positive attitude can help them get a jump start on moving up in their careers faster! Whether a student is looking for a part-time job while still in high school, or a recent graduate looking for an internship, it is beneficial to understand that a positive attitude is nowhere appreciated more than on-the-job. There are four main reasons for this
1. For many people, work is not what they would prefer to be doing. Working near a positive person makes the work week more enjoyable.
2. Some co-workers have extremely difficult private lives. Work can be a place they find positive people and can forget about some of their difficulties.
3. Supervisors depend upon the positive attitudes of employees to establish a “team spirit.” Positive attitudes make everyone’s job a little easier.
4. Approximately half of a person’s waking hours are spent in the workplace. Without some positive attitudes, this amount of time could seem endless.
It is important that students relaize that both positive and negative attitudes travel quickly in the workplace. You either contribute or subtract from a better work environment through your attitude, and remaining neutral is impossible.
Attitude plays a role in your career success. Career success depends on both good work skills and human relation’s competencies. To be able to build good human relationships it must begin with a positive attitude. People who understand the importance of good human relationships and are willing to initiate repairs have a career advantage. When a person is successful at building and maintaining positive working relationships it helps keep that person’s positive attitude.
In some roles such as team building, selling, customer relations, etc. attitude is more important than talent. Everyone has the capacity to be positive under almost any circumstances. A positive attitude is the key to success in any problem-solving procedure or major lifestyle change. With a consistently positive attitude it is possible to win the game of life in all directions; personal satisfaction, strong relationships and success in a meaningful career.
Last week, I spoke at the National “Youth At-Risk conference through Georgia Southern University. Educators and youth serving professionals, this is a conference to have on your list for 2012. They had very innovative workshops with realistic activities and programs you can immediately implement. My workshop focused on creating and implementing mentoring programs for agencies who work with at-risk youth. http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/nationalyouthatrisk.html
Winning Futures requires all mentors to write an introduction letter home to mentees’ parents. These letters give parents self assurance that their child is in good hands and lets them know who they will be spending time with. This is also a great way to introduce the mentoring program and create discussion at home about what is happening at school.
Some examples of what a parent letter home could include are:
Where the mentor is employed and job title
A brief paragraph on personal background (i.e. any children at home, where mentor went to high school or college, hobbies, etc.)
Share goals to accomplish with mentee
Things that the mentor has in common with the student
A positive comment about mentee
For writing and grammar tips, visit the Library Online.
Becoming a Winning Futures mentor was a new experience for me. I was very excited to be involved but a little nervous to meet my mentees.
All my fears went away the minute my mentees came through the classroom door. They were as nervous as I was and yet within minutes we were all very comfortable with each other. The year flew by quickly and each month I watched their development, not just in our Winning Futures class but as young adults. With their knowledge and experiences expanding they were beginning to see themselves in a new light. I enjoyed watching this transformation week after week.
At the end of the year, as I read one of my mentee’s scholarship paper, I had my “Aha” moment. In the papter, she stated that she believed when she was scared and worried about making it in college, she would be able to rely on me, her mentor, her friend, to help her stay motivated and continue to work to be successful. I knew at that moment, that I had touched her life and we had built an everlasting bond.
All the work, time, and effort given were all returned to me at that moment.
~Winning Futures Mentor
~Extra Credit Union, Vice President Member Services