By Krystal Hope, program manager for the Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring
The fifth year of the Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring program is underway and things are move quickly. This marks our largest Corps yet! 23 talented and diverse individuals are serving 20 community agencies in the Berkshires, Worcester, Plymouth, Suffolk and Norfolk Counties. As with every year, there are many dynamic projects the Ambassadors are working on –program start up and development, marketing and recruitment, evaluation, match support and training development. So what have the 2012-13 Ambassadors been doing for the past few months?
In August, we began with an intensive five-day orientation at Wheelock College. Monday began with timid smiles and small talk amongst unfamiliar people. After a week of countless ice breakers, team building activities, and discussions, there were signs of budding relationships.
In September, we held our first two-day monthly meeting. The first day was dedicated to supporting the Corps in their mentor recruitment efforts. MMP staff facilitated workshops, offered advice, and made themselves available as resources to the Corps. On day two, the Ambassadors learned about the importance of Youth Mentoring Day at the State House and dedicated time to brainstorming and planning the initial steps for the event. Are we going to see your program there?
On Nov. 9, the Corps celebrated their commitment to service at the annual Opening Day Kick-Off. The Kick-Off was followed by a service activity at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton, where the Ambassadors put together items to help keep 1,161 youth warm this winter.
In mid November we held our annual fall service week at City Year Boston. During the week, the Ambassadors worked together on planning Youth Mentoring Day at the State House. The theme of this year’s YMD will not only promote the national “Mentoring Works” theme but also celebrate MMPs 20th Anniversary by completing a project started by the 2011-12 Corps – 20 Ways Mentoring Grows Communities. Five teams worked on event logistics, marketing, youth involvement, media, and the Ignite Award.
We’re only half way through the year and there is still much to be done. In the next coming months we’ll be holding our annual holiday event complete with "ugly sweaters" and white elephant gift exchange, preparing for our annual winter retreat, and gearing up for another team project.