This guest post is courtesy of Kate Russell, Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring at The Newton Partnership. Kate answered some questions from Mass Mentoring regarding her program and its National Mentoring Month events.
- What is your role at the organization? Please give us some information about your program.
- Why is mentoring important?
- What did you do to celebrate National Mentoring Month?
- What was the outcome of the event?
- Did you do anything else for National Mentoring Month?
- How people can get in touch with your program to get additional information?
[caption id="attachment_743" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Kate Russell"][/caption]My name is Kate Russell and I am currently serving with The Newton Partnership as the Ambassador of Mentoring. The Newton Partnership (TNP) is a collaboration of more than 16 nonprofit and municipal organizations working together for the socio-emotional, behavioral, and mental health of Newton children. TNP focuses on providing a spectrum of prevention and intervention services, as well as facilitating collaboration and new ways of agencies working together. TNP currently supports three community-based programs: The One-to-One Program pairs 120 at-risk elementary school children with upperclassmen high school mentors; Mentor Connection pairs at-risk adolescents with adult mentors; and Project Mentor pairs students in grades 4-8 who have been involved in some type of bullying incident, either as the target or aggressor, with adult mentors.
Mentoring is important because it means you have a caring, trusting, and consistent figure in your life. It means you have somebody else you can talk to, go to for advice, and depend on to help you through a difficult time. It is someone you can learn new things from and share new experiences with.
Our program chose to combine a mentor recruitment campaign with a mentor appreciation celebration. On Jan. 1, mentors received an email informing them that a mentor recruitment campaign would run throughout January. Mentors were encouraged to refer a friend(s) to our mentoring programs. Their name would get placed in a drawing to win a Kindle Fire for every friend they referred (i.e. five friends would give them five opportunities to win). The mentor recruitment campaign ended with a mentor appreciation celebration. Mentors were invited to attend a special dinner on Feb. 9 at our office and were encouraged to bring a guest or guests and the Kindle Fire winner was chosen.
We certainly experienced some challenges with the recruitment campaign. We did not receive as many referrals as we were anticipating. We love all the support we’ve received from MMP in the past and would greatly appreciate feedback and advice on how to improve this campaign for next year. We were very pleased with the amount of RSVPs for the mentor appreciation celebration. One of our program’s goals this year is to build a community among mentors and the fact that so many of our volunteers are attending our events is a sign that we have been successful with accomplishing that goal.
In the spirit of our recruitment campaign (targeted at our current mentors), we issued a similar campaign among former mentors in our program and mentees’ parents.
For additional information about volunteering as a mentor contact Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about referring a child or teen to our program contact Ammirah Holloway at email@example.com.