Mentoring...the core of ChalleNGe
Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship over a prolonged period of time between a youth and an adult who provides consistent support, guidance and concrete help. The goal of mentoring is to help youths gain the skills and confidence to be responsible for their own futures with increasing emphasis on, academic and occupational skills.
Why are mentoring programs needed?
In a closely-knit family and neighborhood, children and adults alike could readily forge many kinds of supportive relationships. But today those opportunities are often missing. Many children no longer attend school in their neighborhoods. Single-parent families are no longer the exception, and some families live in geographic or emotional isolation from relatives and neighbors. Young people today often lack opportunities to develop helpful social networks.
All Project ChalleNGe mentors are required to attend a mentor training workshop. The workshop lasts four hours and consists of a multi-media presentation from the Mentor Coordinator. Lunch and a tour of Project ChalleNGe follows the training.
Who is eligible?
Any adult who is interested in and committed to the young person's success is eligible to apply. Attributes of a mentor include maturity, integrity, leadership, commitment, availability, and compatibility to the young person.
- Mentor prospect must be same gender as the cadet
- Mentor prospect must be over 24 years old
- Mentor prospect should not be an immediate family member
- Mentor prospect cannot live in the same household
Where do I find mentors?
- Schools, colleges and universities (teachers, counselors or staff)
- Local church members Coaches (softball, football, basketball, etc.)
- Service providers (firefighters & police officers)
Young people want support. The majority of young people cite parents or other adults as the first source of advice for troubling personal problems.
There was a time when our society was made up of extended families and close communities. Aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends often served naturally as mentors.
While families bear the primary obligation to care for their children and to help them become healthy, contributing citizens, other institutions can help families into a rapidly changing world. A mentor can provide the nurturing, supportive adult relationship absent in the lives of many of our young people.
Adolescents today are an increasingly isolated population. Changes in the structure of the family, in community and neighborhood relationships and in workplace arrangements have deprived young people of the adult contacts that historically have been primary sources of socialization and support for development.
Many young people lack nurturing and supportive primary adult relationships. A mentor can provide that role, and perhaps more importantly, teach and guide the young person to find others to fill that role as well.
Life issues with which mentoring helps:
- Teen pregnancy
- Substance abuse
- Employment preparedness
- Job retention
- Educational and career goals
- College preparation
- Dropout prevention
- Parenting skills
- Transition from welfare to work
- Work to school adjustment
- Financial management/budgeting
- Home ownership