What is a mentor? Mentors are usually more experienced, are frequently older than mentees and provide support, encouragement and guidance to youth. Mentoring is valued by countless generations and is used in this Initiative as a tool to provide leadership development to youth within wellness villages.
What is the role of Mentoring in CYCHI?
Mentoring plays a role in the following areas:
- Coach by showing how to carry out a task or activity;
- Facilitator by creating opportunities for learners to use new skills;
- Counselor by helping youth explore the consequences of potential decisions and impact of their work; and
- Network by referring youth to others when the mentor's experience is insufficient or not relevant to developing a particular skill.
The Goal of Mentoring Activities Are To:
- Strengthen youth networks and relationships by facilitating youth-led community building and community organizing.
- Train youth workers in professional development, best practices of youth development, management skills, group facilitation and communications.
- Convene young leaders, activists, youth workers, and youth organizers to discuss issues relevant to their community.
- Connect youth with opportunities within their community.
- Build on capacities and skills of youth through intensive training, coaching and technical assistance.
CYCHI Mentoring Approaches:
- One-on-one mentoring
- Group mentoring
- Leadership training
- Skills-building workshops
Mentoring is part of a larger strategy and although it looks different within each wellness village, the goal is the same - to promote leadership development and community health within youth. This week, we take a look at what mentoring means for the Jordan Downs Wellness Village.
Jordan Downs Wellness Village-Mentoring Program
In Jordan Downs, the mentoring model utilizes a Big Brothers Big Sisters approach, however matching is accomplished in a very unique manner.
First, adults and youth are paired regardless of race.
Second, emphasis is placed on imparting leadership skills.
Finally, dedication is given to promoting a cross-cultural understanding of prevalent health issues.
To date, this community has identified 31 adults as mentors for the village and all have received training on the following:
- Communication skills
- Listening skills
- Community development and organizing
The focus of the Jordan Downs Mentoring Program is "Health in the Hood" a program designed to introduce resident mentors to information regarding:
- Healthy eating habits
- Increased learning around important nutritional facts
- Proper exercising techniques
Mentors will receive stipends for participating in the program and are mandated to attend exercise workshops, attend healthy eating workshops and improve their adult understanding of youth concerns.