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Mentor Training Presentation
Transcript of Mentor Training Presentation
Dani Reisbig, AmeriCorps Member, FAME Mentor Specialist
FAME Program Staff
Aging Out Videos
Three Youth in California
Care Package Program
FAME Student Activity Board
A community program of
The MSU School of Social Work
FAME and the School of Social Work have partnered with the Department of Human Services as the recipients of a grant to assist MSU students that are transitioning out of foster care. FAME's Coaching Program is a support program to eligible former foster youth on Campus.
Life Skills Coaches meet with students at least monthly and work with students on developing and improving Independent Living Skills, navigating campus and university resources, and provide a support system to help them thrive as college students.
Students in the coaching program are also matched with a mentor for additional support and guidance.
To be eligible for the coaching program, students must be under 21 years old and must have been in foster care on or after their 14th birthday.
The mentoring program is a partnership with the AmeriCorps Program Mentor Michigan College Coaching Corps (MMCCC) and the FAME Program. Mentoring is one of the biggest ways that the program provides support to FAME Students.
Currently has 16 Matches (28 over program lifetime)
One year commitment
4 hours per month (2 hours in person)
Monthly Reports (via email)
Every semester during finals week, the FAME program provides care packages of donated items to FAME Students. Donations for care packages are collected in the month prior to finals week every semester (April and November).
The FAME Camp is a rolling residential camp program (2 nights and 3 days in the summer semester), held on the campus of Michigan State University for 35 foster youth from across the state. The camp aims to prepare and support foster care youth who are considering attending institutions of higher education by increasing knowledge and understanding about eligibility for financial support, student life and studying at MSU.
The FAME Student Activity Board (FAME SAB) is a group of FAME Students who organize activities, fundraisers, outreach activities, and advocacy events to increase awareness and support for youth in care and individuals who have aged out of foster care.
Michigan State University
School of Social Work
"I turned 18 a month before I graduated from high school. The day after graduation, I was kicked out of my foster home, where I had been living for two years. I was 18, a high school graduate on my way to college in the fall, and I was homeless." -- Nicole, former foster youth (www.cyfd.org)
Over 70% of youth in foster care between the ages of 15 and 19 years, reported a desire to go to college and an additional 19% wished to attend graduate school.
Lack of knowledge of financial assistance, scholarships, and resources available for college
Only between 3% and 15% of those with high school diplomas make it to college
22% of males in the general population go to college compared to only 2.3% of males who have aged out of foster care.
At age 19, only 18% of foster care alumni are pursing a four year degree versus 63% of their peers (Center for the Study of Social Policy, 2009)
At age 25, less than 3% of foster care alumni have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher versus 24% of their coutner parts (Davis, 2006)
Only 26% of foster care alumni who enroll in college have earned a degree or certificate within six years of enrollment compared to 56% of their peers (Cochrane & Szabo-Kubitz, 2009).
Common issues related to this:
Lack of social support network
Impacts on Foster Youth Alumni
The Effects of Trauma
Difficulty handling or recognizing emotions
Aggression against self and others
Inability to modulate sexual impulses
Problems with social attachments – excessive dependence or isolation
Alterations in neurobiological processes involved in stimulus discrimination
Problems with attention and concentration
Experiencing physical ailments/pains (real or psychological)
Conditioned fear responses to trauma-related stimuli
Loss of trust, hope, and a sense of personal agency
Social avoidance (Loss of meaningful attachments)
Lack of participation in preparing for the future
(Van der Kolk, et al., 1996)
Questions and Reflection
FAME Students (about 80 Currently)
Formerly in Foster Care, Kinship Care, experienced homelessness, are currently “independent”, have been a “ward of the state” for any reason, or a similar situation.
Who made a differences in your life? Think about those people, particularly those that are not relatives, who have had a strong impact on you during different stages of your development (teachers, minister, friend, neighbor, coach, etc.)
Above the line, write each person’s name and relationship as well as the approximate age(s) you were when they made a difference in your life.
Below the line, note how they impacted you.
What is a mentor?
What qualities do they possess?
What qualities should a mentor not have?
What roles should a mentor not take in their mentee's life?
What is Mentoring?
Origins: Greek Mythology. Odysseus left his son, Telemachus to be raised by his guardian, named Mentor.
Mentor means "advisor, wise and trusted counselor or teacher" (Vance, 2002)
The transmission of wisdom and maturity from mentor to mentee.
Increases comptencies and protective factors such as:
Added social support
more links to their community
improved social skills (e.g. empathy, conflict resolution, and developing trust).
Building the Mentoring Relationship
Additional Information on Trauma
By 2018, 63 percent of all American job openings will require some sort of postsecondary education (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2012)
In 2005, 25-34 year olds who had at least a bachelor’s degree earned, on average, 61% more than those with only a high school diploma or GED (Dworsky & Perez, 2009).
Over one-fifth will become homeless at some time after age 18 (www.cyfd.org).
Challenges In College
Challenges in Preparing for College
Challenges During High School
Changes in home placements
1/3 of Foster youth experience at least 5 school changes
Foster youth repeat grades twice as much as their peers.
Only 63% finish high school
37% of youth exiting the foster care system have no high school diploma compared to 11% of youth from low socioeconomic backgrounds in the general population.
Challenges after High School
If you only looked at this information, what impressions might you have about Foster Youth? Would these be accurate?
Did you learn anything about Foster Care or Foster Youth that surprised you?
How could this information help you be a better mentor?
Mentors in My lifetime
What is a mentor?
listens and give thoughtful advice
self esteem building
builds a safe, stable relationship
Share life experiences
Demonstrate appropriate modeling (controlling anger, manners, coping tecnhiques)
Connects youth to resources (e.g. FAME, MSU resources, and career resources)
Mentoring lowers Risky Behaviors and increases positive factors like school performance and self-esteem
Youth in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program who meet regularly with their mentors are...
52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
37% less likely to skip class.
46% less likely to start using illegal drugs
27% less likely to start drinking.
Mentoring reduces recidivism up to 80%
Matches that last less than six months.
Matches that end earlier than agreed upon or abruptly.
Mentors that have less than two hours of mentor training.
Matches taht have inconsistent/rare contact with program staff.
Mentoring program focuses on creating new matches rather than sustaining current matches.
Benefits of Mentoring
Overall Benefits for the Mentor
Receiving a feeling of fulfillment as a result of caring.
Strengthening your own connections to the community.
Gaining a new friend.
Having and opportunity to be creative and have fun.
Learning effective listening and problem-solving skills.
Achieving a sense of satisfaction from making a positivie difference in the world.
Youth Benefit from an opportunity to acquire the following knowledge and experience:
Goals setting skills
Effective problem solving skills
Practical living skills
Respect for people
Communication and leadership skills
An appreciation for diversity and an increase in empathy for those who are different.
Successful & Unsuccessful Mentors
Genuinely enjoy young people and like spending time with them.
Believe in the potential of young people
Can commit time and energy to a young person, and know they will follow through with that commitment
•Have high self-esteem and healthy boundaries
•Patient and persistent
•Good communicators, and especially good listeners
•Are self aware, particularly of their own biases
•Committed to lifelong learning and personal growth
•Display a sense of humor and enthusiasm
•Have high standards and expectations of themselves and others.
• Impatient, inflexible, uncaring
• Often strive to dominate the relationship
• Believe they are the prescription for higher functioning of their mentee
• Are demanding and directive
• Consider themselves therapists or counselors to the mentee
• Are ultimately self-focused
• Need to see “results” quickly
• Lack consistency
Unrealistic: My mentee’s success is dependent upon the mentoring process.
Unrealistic: My mentee will surely make changes in his or her behavior after speaking with me a few times.
Unrealistic: If the mentee’s behavior does not change immediately, that is proof that nothing is happening.
Unrealistic: If I do not see extensive change in the mentee’s functioning, it is a negative reflection on me.
Unrealistic: I need to be perfect “mistake-proof” mentor.
Realistic: Even though I will go to great lengths to be of assistance, my mentee’s success is dependent on his or her own choices and behaviors.
Realistic: It will most likely take time for the mentee to make changes in his or her life. I should not expect someone to transform because I have spent a few hours with him or her.
Realistic: The mentee may not appear to be benefiting from the relationship, but that does not meant that she or he is not getting something positive out of it. As a mentor, I must consider that the process of mentoring is like “planting seeds” that may take a hold at a later time.
Realistic: Not seeing changes in the mentee does not mean that I am a bad mentor. Mentoring I not contest, and it is not about me.
Realistic: It is okay to make mistakes as a mentor. I may take the wrong approach or say the wrong things from time to time. However, my mentee will be resilient as long as he or she knows that I have his/her best interest at heart.
Youth test mentors to see what limits are. How might a mentee test a mentor?
Learning to Communicate:
Many mentors do not regularly have contact with youth. Youth and adults communicate in different ways and tend to talk about different things. What topics do you think you and your mentee will discuss?
Compromise and Bridging Differences:
You and your mentee are sure to have different opinions on a variety of topics. In what areas do you expect to encounter differences?
Link to The Community
Mentors and mentees establish a relationship by creating and meeting goals together. What types of goals might a mentor and mentee set? Consider both short and long term possibilities.
Mentors and mentees are matched based on common interests. Weekly activities should be youth-focused but still share in the mentor’s comfort zone. What activities do you anticipate sharing with your mentee?
Recognizing and Celebrating Your Mentee:
Many youth in mentoring programs do not receive high levels of praise. Mentors are in a position to assist the mentee in raising his or her self esteem and achievement expectations. In what ways can a mentor celebrate their mentee’s accomplishments and their individuality?
Acknowledging the Relationship:
At the end of the mentoring relationship, it is important for all parties involved to look back at the highs and lows of the experience. Mentor and mentee should share their thoughts with each other and determine what will happen when they are no longer in the mentoring program. What options does the match have for the future of their relationship?
It is important for all participants to reflect on their experience through the evaluation process. This allows the program to make adjustments to ensure that future mentors and mentees receive the best possible service.
When one match ends, the mentor needs to appraise his or her current situation to determine if he or she can and wants to commit to a new mentoring relationship.
Knowing Your Limits:
Mentors need to take care of themselves in order to be a good role model. Sometimes circumstances in your life may change and you will need to adjust your mentoring relationship to fit your new needs. What circumstances may lead a mentor to re-evaluate their commitment? What adjustments can be made to keep the mentoring relationship in tact?
Mentors do not always witness changes in their mentee’s progress or receive proper appreciation from their mentee. The mentor may feel used or burned out. It is important to remain committed to the relationship because, whether they believe it or not, the mentor has an incredible impact on the mentee’s. What types of things can a mentor do to relieve stress and seek support in order to stay committed?
Navigating Rough Spots:
What to Expect
1.Do be consistent
2.Do be yourself
3.Do practice healthy communication skills
4.Do understand your influence as an adult
5.Do be honest
6.Do be patient and forgiving
7.Do confront inappropriate behavior
8.Do be positive in your approach
9.Do inform the youth if you will be unavailable for a time
10.Do remember that you are not alone
1.Don’t compare the young person to yourself as a teen, someone in your family, or another teenager.
2.Don’t trivialize the youth’s feelings
4.Don’t let setbacks defeat you
5.Don’t judge or jump to conclusions
6.Don’t play, “Can You Top This?”
7.Don’t attempt to take the place of parents, teachers, social workers, or pastors
DO's & Don'ts
Bias is an assumption made about an individual or individuals based on their membership in a particular group (e.g. race, ethnicity, and age).
Bias can be conscious or unconscious.
It is usually developed through personal experiences, messages received from members of groups with which one identifies (e.g. family and peer groups), media influences, or other sources.
Biases vary in intensity and the level to which they impact the individual’s ability to connect and identify with individuals of other identity groups.
what is bias?
Examining Personal Bias?
How does bias affect mentoring?
Mentees may be a part of a different social group than you and may have a different perspective of life.
Mentees may be a part of a group about which you have received messages that may be innaccurate.
You may share a group identity with your mentee but your experience or understanding of that group identity may be different.
Six steps to dealing with personal bias
1. Tell the truth to yourself and notice what influences your decisions
2. Gather data about yourself.
3. Stretch your comfort zone.
4. Stimulate your curiosity
5. Expand your constellation of input
6. If you mess up, clean it up!
Know that you're human and that overcoming and confronting personal bias is a normal, ongoing life process.
What is your first impression of the individual in the video?
How much education does he have?What does he do to earn money?
What does he do for fun?
What are his friends like?
What is your lens?
After watching the first 30 seconds of the video, answer the following questions about the individual being interviewed in the video based off of your perceptions of the individual.
Are there any answers on the side of this sheet that you would change? Why or why not?
What about your personal experiences or personal outlook influenced you perception of the individual?
4 steps to
1.Hear and listen to the message.
2.Interpret the message.
3.Evaluate the message.
4.Respond to the message
Post Video Questions
Avoid jumping to conclusions.
1. Listen to the youth's statement.
"I felt sick to my stomach. I got such a low grade on my quiz.
2. Look for the feeling in the youth's tone of voice, facial expression and body language.
3. Mirror the youth's feelings, using words or actions that most accurately refelct what you are observing
"it sounds like you're feeling bad because you did poorly on your quiz."
Accepts the mentee without making judgments
Ability to listen and communicate, ask and answer questions
Posses a deep understanding of their own communication style and be willing to objectively observe the behavior of the mentee
Able to adjust their own behaviors and communications to meet the individual needs of the mentee
Able to communicate their belief to the mentee that he/she is capable of transcending great things in the future
Exhibit patience and understanding
Demonstrate interpersonal competence and effectiveness
Radiate honesty and integrity
Have knowledge of the MSU community and about higher education in general Affirm and support the mentee in exploration and growth
Capitalize on opportunities to affirm the human potential of their mentee
Challenge the mentee to try new behaviors and grow
Talk honestly about failures
Utilize personal story telling to illustrate their own struggles and frustrations and how they overcame them
Discussions based on shared experience are very powerful
Are respectful and sensitive to the diversity of the mentee’s background, ethnicity, and beliefs
Demonstrate the they GENUINELY CARE ABOUT THE MENTEE
The most proficient mentors exhibit the following characteristics
Successful mentees exhibit the following characteristics:
Experience positive self-efficacy, the belief that he/she has the ability to succeed in school and employment activities, and develop further;
Is willing to try new behaviors and move out his/her comfort zone;
Has a desire to learn from the mentor;
Openly and honestly discusses experiences and actions that may not reflect positively on him/her; and
Is willing to actively seek out growth opportunities
Successful mentees exhibit the following characteristics
Mentors and Mentees
Commit to 1 year of mentoring.
Spend 4 hours per month (2 hours in person) with your mentee.
Complete 1 mentoring report per month.
Participate in program evaluations (Surveys, interviews)
Why is it important to set boundaries?
Setting boundaries is healthy for both you and those around you.
You will have different boundaries with different people in you life and it is important that you are aware of what those boundaries are so that those around you understand your limitations.
Boundaries provide a structure for your relationships.
Poor boundaries can result in:
Development of a victim mentality
Inability to say no
Feelings of over-responsibility•One-sided relationships-no give and take
Examples of good boundaries:
I care about you, but I cannot take away your problems
I need time to be alone
I will not be the object of rage
I can disagree with you and still care about you
I form my own opinions
I only accept phone calls until 9p.m unless there is an emergency
I will not allow others to make me feel guilty or bad about myself
I will not do something for you that you are able to do yourself
STOP!!! Think before you use these words. If you are tempted to do something “just this once,” chances are that it is something with which you are uncomfortable (against your boundaries). Many mentors regret saying these words because they soon learn that it is harder to say no once you have said yes in the past. Soon you find yourself caught in a tough situation and feeling resentful.One way to handle these situations is to talk to your mentee about boundaries early in your relationship.
If you find yourself saying,
I will do this just this one time…...
Think of three situations when your boundaries were crossed.
How did you respond? Be sure to include both emotional and physical responses.
How did the people around you respond to your response?
Think of a situation when you crossed someone else's boundaries.
How did that person respond to you?
Be sure to include the physical and emotional responses.
How would you have handled the situation differently?
Imagine the response of the person if you had used one of these different approaches.
What are some of the boundaries of youth facing multiple risk factors?
What are some boundaries your mentee may have?
What are some boundaries that your mentee may need your support to develop?
What are some of your boundaries?