Archive for the ‘Mentor Coaching’ Category
We all know the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you’d have done to you. We also all know that actions speak louder than words, and this activity encourages students to live out the golden rule and to perform kind, positive actions. This activity is also a great way for students to learn positive things about one another.
To begin, place a “Kindness Box” in the room (this can be a decorated old shoe box or a tissue box). Above the box, place a sign that says “Write down an anonymous act of kindness you have done or have seen someone else do this week.” Place 1-inch by 12-inch strips of construction paper and a marker beside the box. Tell students that each week you will take the papers out of the box at the end of the session and display them in a chain on the wall.
At the end of each session, read the papers out loud and encourage the students to continue their acts of kindness. This quick and easy activity requires just a tissue box or shoebox, paper and markers – as well as students’ acts of kindness!
When a student shares emotional or confidential information with you, keep the following in mind:
Guidelines for maintaining a young person’s confidences
- Respect their privacy
- Don’t share with others what they have told you about him/herself
Guidelines for deciding whether to break confidentiality
- If what you heard or experience feels “wrong” to you, contact staff member ASAP
- If you are not sure, ask
- The young person’s safety or someone else’s safety is in danger, or
- An illegal activity is involved
A mentor doesn’t pave the way or help you choose a direction, they guide in picking the bricks and expanding your imagination.
A mentor doesn’t give the answer or shine the light at the end of the tunnel, they lead you in asking the right question and point the obstacles, so you don’t stumble!
A mentor doesn’t give you the frame of the big picture; they guide you in making decisions leading to a Winning Future!
Elena Kapintcheva – Winning Futures Alumni, Cousino High School
Studies indicate that the more education one has the larger the paycheck. So! “the more you learn the more you earn”. Listed below, are the average salaries American workers earn based on an education they have attained:
|Education Level||Hourly Rate||Annual Salary|
|Less than high school diploma||$ 9.47||$18,000|
|High School Diploma||$12.50||$24,000|
|Some college, no degree||$14.61||$28,000|
If you work for forty years, additional earnings can really add- up, just by staying in school and graduating high school. Individual workers earn an average of $6,000 more per year or $240,000 more in their lifetimes. That is a quarter-million dollars just by finishing high school.
Add a two-year Associate Degree and the lifetime earnings jump to $480,000. Think about it… that’s a cool half-million dollars…just for finishing high school and going to college for two years. As you can see, it is more than a high school dropout can earn in a lifetime.
“PLAY IT SMART”! Do what you need to do to finish high school … dropping out is NOTan option. Then think about going to college.
A great way to support students in career exploration is to show an interest! A resourse used at Winning Futures to help students compare and learn more about their career interests is The Occupational Outlook Handbook website – http://www.bls.gov/oco/.
By providing information on careers, students will be better prepared to set their education goals!
Ways to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook site—
~To find out about a specific occupation or topic, use the Search
box that is on every page…you enter your search term in the box.
~To find out about the many occupations, browse through listings using the Occupation
link that is on the left side of each page.
~For a listing of all occupations in alphabetical order, go to the A-Z Index and select a letter.
Before students can start working on a plan for their futures, they first need to evaluate where they are today. All of us have both positive and negative assets. To help improve the negative assets, it is important to first recognize what they are. This can be done through a self-assessment. Some example questions students can answer during a self-assessment are:
~What are some things I want to improve about myself
~My biggest challenges or things I worry about are
~I am most grateful for
~Things I like to do
~My friends would describe me as
~I would describe myself as
~The most positive people in my life are
~The most negative situations in my life are
Winning Futures mentors help students students evaluate these types of questions along with guiding them in setting new/realistic goals in the areas in which they wish to improve on.
In the world of work, we are often called upon to give a “30-second elevator pitch”. This can be a pretty intimidating and uncomfortable for an adult, let alone a teen. Few people enjoy selling themselves in this way, but it is an important skill/tool to have! Winning Futures mentors work with students to help them perfect a 30-second interview pitch.
To help students in writing a script for a 30-second interview pitch, consider having them answer the following questions:
1. My name is (state both first and last name):
2. I am interested in finding a job/career/internship in:
3. I graduated from:
4. During high school, I was involved in:
5. In this activity I learned/accomplished:
6. I will be of value to your company because:
After students write their scripts, mentors work with each student to practice their elevator pitch. With the help of the mentor’s positive reinforcement and coaching, students gain confidence and enthusiasm. This learn-by-doing session helps students practice their speaking skills and perfect their interview pitch in a friendly, nurturing atmosphere. They will gain a tool they will be able to use as they begin to enter the workforce.
With the help of mentors, Winning Futures talks to students about the importance of community service and how it helps others as well as the benefits for the individual providing the service (college admittance, resume building, leadership skills, etc.). Teams are required to complete a community service project to benefit a group in society.
By doing things that interest them, teens often gain new skills and find new career opportunities that they hadn’t thought of before. Students working with animal organizations may discover they would like to become a veterinarian. Those helping disabled individuals may find opportunities in health care or social services. In addition, the experiences gained in volunteer settings can provide teens with skills in leadership and decision-making, and also look attractive on college and scholarship applications.
Teens are exposed to people and circumstances they have not encountered in their life. Volunteers learn about respect and kindness through working with the homeless, serving the elderly at a retirement home, or helping disabled children create art. Teens develop better appreciation for the little things in life and also receive a personal satisfaction of knowing they have made a difference in someone’s life.
Besides finding new career opportunities, volunteering also provides teens with other skills necessary in the job market. Teens have a chance to learn important communication and interpersonal skills. The same leadership skills that help with their education will also help in the business world. Volunteering also provides teens a chance to increase their knowledge in certain areas. Those activities could add experience to a resume.
To find a place in your area to volunteer go to http://www.volunteermatch.org/.
Having guest speakers in a classroom can be a powerful experience for students. It lets them see that successful adults have their own stories about how they overcome obstacles and struggles in their lives to help get them to where they are today. Winning Futures welcomed Dennis Liegghio, Founder of KnowResolve, to speak to students in the program about how important relationship goals have been in his life.
Dennis writes, “I was 14 years old when I lost my father to suicide. Our last words were in anger. For the next ten years, I blamed myself for my Dad’s death and struggled with depression, self-destructive behavior and my own thoughts of suicide. In 2001, ten years after losing my father, I wrote a song called “No Resolve,” which helped me to start working through the anger and sadness that had held me captive for so long. I kept writing songs, started the Student Driver Band, and recorded an album.
My mom gave a copy of that album to Jean Larch, who runs a Survivors of Suicide support group in Macomb County, Michigan. Jean invited me to visit the group and perform “No Resolve.” The experience was so powerful and overwhelming that it ignited a passion to help spread the word and raise awareness, and was the inspiration for starting this organization in early 2007.
I was invited to tell my story to a group of middle school students, and within a year of that first presentation, KnowResolve had become my life’s work. Since our humble beginnings in 2007, we have spoken nationally to more than 24,000 teens and young adults about the importance of hope, connection and community.
Vision: It wasn’t very long ago that I was so empty and hopeless that I didn’t believe there was anything worth living for. I kept my walls up, and kept everyone in my life at a safe distance – hiding my insecurities and misery behind self-destructive behavior. I numbed myself to the world around me. I was convinced that I would die young, and I did my best to self-destruct.
My life changed when I realized and accepted three 3 simple,
• Sometimes life is unfair, and sometimes it just sucks
• The world doesn’t owe me anything
• Nobody is coming to save me – my happiness is my responsibility
Over time, with help from friends, family, therapy, books and expressing myself through music, I began to feel purpose, peace, balance, and even joy again. I discovered that yes, we are the sum of our upbringings and circumstances — but we have the power and the CHOICE to change, to grow, and to overcome. Hope and happiness are possible, no matter where or what you come from.
For more information visit Knowresolve.org
Sharing with students the significance of developing positive support teams/networks and the importance of having a strong, positive relationship with one’s self is a great lesson. With the help of mentors, Winning Futures teaches students how relationship goals play a key role in the accomplishment of all of goals including their education and career . When students set relationship goals they are helping to build strong networks and support teams. These goals can help them improve relationships with family, teachers, and friends, as well as help in preparing for future relationships in the world of work and beyond.