Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’
Positive role models are important. They are the individuals who set examples for individuals to observe and pattern positive behaviors from. As people increase positive behaviors, they increase their feelings of self-worth. Patterning behaviors from positive role models can help mentees build on their morals and positive values. These patterns teach the mentees to set attainable goals and provide direction in achieving those goals.
What Constitutes a Role Model?
Characteristics of positive role models include:
- Feels a since of duty to better “society” working for the common good of the community
- Has developed powerful and effective habits of the mind and soul
- Can work through challenges
- Committed to what he or she does
- Capacity to achieve goals and obtain self-fulfillment
- Possesses high standards and values
- Admired for courage and strength
- Models forgiveness
- Demonstrates humility
- Admits when they are wrong
- Projects genuine love
- Discernment – understands the whole situation
Do you have a story you would like to share?
Why did you sign up to mentor?
What did you gain from mentoring?
Why should someone else mentor?
What was the biggest benefit to your mentee?
Let us know your thoughts on one or all of these questions!
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/.
As a Winning Futures Job Coach at Fitzgerald High School, I was able to see first hand how the program benefited the students. The sessions were excellent and I enjoyed training the students. I believe it helped a lot of them accomplish their work goals. After going over interviewing procedures and role playing interviewing sessions, a few landed jobs!
~Denise Kelly, Winning Futures Job Coach
Fitzgerald Public Schools utilizes the Winning Futures workbooks and trainings through their WIA grant for in-school and out-of-school youth (granted by the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board through MichiganWorks!). All of their adult job coaches were trained in the curriculum and implement it throughout the summer and school year.
Ever since I joined the Winning Futures Program, I have learned better values and how to be a better me. More and more students these days are misguided and need someone to help guide them when their parents are not there all the time. They are not pushed to their full potential or there is something holding them back, like family problems.
~Rani, 12th grade Winning Futures Student
During January 2011 we celebrate the everyday, ordinary people who are making a difference for kids…Mentors!
Winning Futures is celebrating National Mentoring Month by asking all mentees and teachers to nominate mentors for the “Mentor of the Year Award”. The nomination letters are then presented on January 25th as a gift to the mentors.
Here are 10 things to do in January to help celebrate NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH:
1. Become a mentor in your community.
2. Learn more about mentoring.
3. Partner with a mentoring organization.
4. Tell 5 friends about National Mentoring Month.
5. Think about the mentors in your life and post a tribute to them online.
6. Read the latest research and find resources on mentoring.
7. Serve your community on MLK Day of Service by deciding to become a mentor.
8. Make a donation to a mentoring organization in your community.
9. Go to YouTube on Thank Your Mentor Day™ (January 25) and make the National Mentoring Month videos the most popular of the day.
10. Explore ways to help children succeed academically through mentoring.
To learn more about National Mentoring Month, Mentor Michigan is offering a 2011 Michigan Mentoring Month Tool Kit. The tool kit contains resources and ideas to help local mentoring programs promote their activities, thank their mentors, and recruit new mentors. You can also visit the National Mentoring Parnership website for more ideas.
My mentees and I joined the Harper Woods City Officials in ushering in the holidays at the City’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall.
We had a really nice time singing holiday music and admiring the beautiful tree. To top the festive event, we enjoyed cookies and chocolate milk.
~Daniela is a second year mentor with Winning Futures
Recruiting male mentors is one of the biggest challenges programs report. The majority of mentors have always been female while the majority of youth in need of a mentor have been male. Programs have learned that traditional recruitment techniques do not seem to motivate the male audience to become mentors. In order for children to have stable mentors in their lives the methods for recruiting men must change. Mentor Michigan has developed free resources for programs to use!
Visit www.Mentormichigan.org to download all of the Men and Mentoring tools and presentations.
Because of the Mentor Michigan tools and the structured mentoring activities we provide, 52% of Winning Futures’ mentors are men! www.WinningFutures.org
In our Winning Futures mentoring program, all of our mentees complete a profile sheet that we use to match them with mentors and to provide to the mentor so they get to know the student better. This focuses more on their interests versus a case file. It has the fun things mentors and mentees can use to build a relationship.
We now have the mentors completing a profile sheet with their photo on it to give to the mentees before the match begins. This has really helped our mentees become even more excited and feel more relaxed when they meet their mentors.
For our schools, we then create a binder of all of the mentor profile sheets for the main office, security, and the teachers we work with. It is a great way to promote the wonderful people who volunteer in the school, but also is helpful for security purposes. We also share this with our board of directors.
Visit our website to download a blank Mentor Profile Sheet to use in your program, along with sample of a completed one. http://www.winningfuturesbooks.org/private/index.php
In every Winning Futures meeting/class, we start with our “Good News” activity. We lay the ground work at the beginning of the year by stating that we know standing up in front of a group can be scary, awkward, and unnerving. That is why our “Number One” rule is “Respect for all Speakers” no matter if it is an adult or student. If someone is speaking, everyone in the room is to stay quiet with no side talking, snickering, or comments.
We ask anyone with something positive to share to please stand, say their first and last name, and tell us their good news. We allot up to 3 minutes for people to share. If you have mentors or adult volunteers, ask them to also share to help get things going each time.
We then close each class with a “Stand and Share” where mentees again stand, say their first and last name, and one thing they learned or liked about the class. We coach the students to be Loud and Proud by speaking up and making sure everyone can hear them.
I will let you that at the beginning of the year, it is sometimes like pulling teeth to have students volunteer. Through role modeling and encouraging students we know have good news to share, soon we have too many people wanting to speak!
Many teachers we work with have begun incorporating this into their daily classes and they have seen a tremendous difference in their participation as a whole in class and the respect level between the students.