Sunday, January 30, 2022

2022 National Mentoring Summit

Last week I participated in the virtual National Mentoring Summit hosted by the MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership.  Below are some Tweets I posted, along with comments. I encourage you to follow the links, and visit the MENTOR website throughout the year to find ideas that you can use to strengthen your own mentoring programs and do more to help kids in your community.

Part of my purpose with this blog, and each article, is to set an example that I hope many will duplicate, in Chicago, and around the country.  There were more than 1000 participants in this week's Mentoring Summit. There should be at least 100 blog articles where participants share what they learned and who they met.

Now let's look at some of the Tweets.

During one of the sessions I asked if anyone was using mapping and was told of a project being done by MENTOR Nebraska.  I looked up the website and found this PDF with the map shown in my Tweet. 

I hope many will review the PDF. By collecting information about existing mentoring programs in Nebraska and plotting locations they enabled a planning process that identified where more programs were needed. This is what I've been encouraging for the past 30 years.  It will be interesting to see if they make their mapping into a web-based platform and use it to try  to draw volunteers and donors to existing programs throughout Nebraska. 

Becoming a Better Mentor Guide

In more than one session people asked for help in training their mentors. I started building my library in the 1970s when leading a program with 100 volunteers, while holding a full time advertising job. I did not have the time to do on-going training of every volunteer so I started building a library and tried to motivate volunteers to dip into that regularly, doing their own learning.  I then created on-going social interaction events where volunteers could share what they were learning and mentor each other.  

I've continued that for over 40 years. The "Becoming a Better Mentor Guide" which I Tweeted about below, is a new resource any volunteer can use to build their skills.


Understanding benefit to youth through a social capital lens.

This is a Tweet by I Could Be, highlighting a workshop by the Christensen Institute.
I've written articles about social capital often in the past and am pleased to see this finally getting greater attention.  A few workshops emphasized the benefit to volunteers, not just kids. That's an important reason for businesses to encourage volunteer involvement and support programs with corporate dollars.   

Virtual Mentoring featured in many workshops.  

I Could Be hosted their own workshop, which I highlighted in this and other Tweets. I wrote about I Could Be and virtual tutoring/mentoring in this article last March. While thousands of youth tutoring and/or mentoring programs and almost every public school and college had to rapidly move to on-line learning in March 2020, a few organizations, including I Could had already been doing this since the mid 2000s. Thus, they had valuable experience to share with others.  

In response to the huge demand in 2020, MENTOR established a page focused on Virtual Mentoring Portals

I've connected with MENTOR Maryland before, but re-introduced myself with this Tweet.

Community For Youth, in Seattle, was a program that impressed me. I added their blog to the list of tutor/mentor program blogs that I include in the tutor/mentor library.  

I've included Capital Partners for Education
in the Tutor/Mentor library since the early 2000s. I connected with them in this Tweet.

GenerationHope was another program that I learned about. I posted a Tweet and started a conversation. Connect on social media.
In many of my comments during workshops and with my Tweets, I encouraged other participants to come to Twitter to share their own ideas and connect with others. These are just a few Tweets I posted. Visit #MentoringSummit and #NationalMentoringSummit and skim through the Tweets, going back to last Wednesday when mentoring leaders when to Capitol Hill to educate congressmen and senators and build support for legislation that supports mentoring programs throughout the USA.

Today marks the end of the January 2022 Mentoring Month, and the Summit seems like a great way to propel everyone forward for the work of building and sustaining mentoring and tutoring relationships  that help more kids living in high poverty areas move through school and into adult lives.  

There's lots of work to be done. Don't reinvent the wheel. Try to learn from each other.  Try to help build greater business and donor involvement that draws volunteers and operating dollars to programs in every high poverty zip code.  

Thanks for reading. I look forward to seeing your own stories. 

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