The mentoring role
"Do not look at the wrinkles on our faces, think of the wisdom in our heads." Mentor, One Tree Hill College
Mentors are caring individuals who move alongside young people to encourage them to reach their unique potential. These young people feel unconditionally cared for and valued in structured and trusting relationships, while their lives gain meaning and purpose.
Mentoring is not about saving or rescuing young people, nor about 'fixing' their families, prescribing ways they should live or behave, funding their lifestyle or trying to be a 'cool peer'.
Youth Mentoring Resources - fun activities to bring to your mentoring sessions
When you are stuck for an idea on what to do with your mentee (young person) at your next meeting then this repository of activities is a great place to start. It covers a wide range of areas including: communication; relationship building; positive attitude and identity; culture and diversity and academic support. Thank you to the University of Auckland, the Great Potentials Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation for making this repository of activities freely available for everyone to use in their mentoring sessions.
Click on the following link to access these activities: http://www.education.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/current-students/facilities-and-resources/youth-mentoring-resources.html
Mentoring Based on Resiliency
People often focus on the risk factors when working with students who are discouraged or from an adverse environment. In contrast, resiliency building is based on the belief that all young people have strengths and can act on them.
Mentors who adopt a "resiliency perspective" focus on nurturing and strengthening "protective factors". These are the essential elements of resiliency building, and they can mitigate negative and stressful experiences and enable young people to overcome adversity. They transcend ethnicity, cultural difference and socio-economic class and make a profound impact on the lives of young people who grow up under adverse conditions. They are about meeting the basic human needs for caring, belonging, respect and self-determination.
Source: From material in Peters & Thurlow 2002
Protective Factors that Enable Resliency
||Able to form positive relationships
||Gives self in service to others and/or a cause
||Uses skills including good decision-making, assertiveness and conflict resolution
||Has a good sense of humour
||Has insight into understanding people and situations
||Able to distance from unhealthy people and situations
|Positive View of personal future
||Confident of ability to achieve goals
||Able to adjust to change and cope with situations
|Love of learning
||Has capacity for, and connection to, learning
||Has internal initiative and positive motivation
||Is "good at something"
||Has feelings of self-worth and confidence
||Has personal faith in something greater
||Keeps on despite difficulty/not giving up
||Expresses through artistic endeavour