Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fork in the Road

Ok, so I have my 19-step process done. I need to send in a copy of my car insurance and they need to check my two references, then I can get started.

Now, when I think about mentoring, I'm thinking about things that happen on the weekend and after work on weeknights. However, the mentorship coordinator was like pump your brakes. I likely won't get matched up with a girl one-on-one for another year. (Fam, who knows if I'll even be here for another 2 years).

So the way it works is that I come to the after school sessions and help with things like tutoring. If I'm consistent and someone gravitates towards me, then I go to this child's house with the mentorship coordinator, her case manager, her parents or guardian (for most of the girls in the program, it's a guardian), then I can meet with her outside of the program.

For this after-school program (program A), I need to pick if I want to be matched with a girl who's 8-12 or 13-18.


I could work with the girls/teens/young women who live on-site (Program B). There are 13 of them at any given time and they are court adjudicated. (I had to look that up, but it basically means the state pays for them to be there until they make their next move, whatever it may be).

Those girls/teens/women are ages 13-20.

The mentorship coordinator mentioned that it's high drama in the house and there's high turnover. So I could gravitate to someone on Tuesday and they be gone Wednesday. OR they could be there for four years, no telling. She said these girls/teens/women are tough and sometimes hard to reach, BUT given my work like and travel schedule that may be the best for me because it's not like I have to come on a certain day at a certain time. I'm basically coming into their [group] home and working with them as a group until someone requests to be partnered with me one one one. So much pressure.

On the flip side, if I work with the girls who come to the after school program, they're likely more stable and will likely expect me to be in a certain place at a certain time.

I have to pick between program A and B, THEN if I pick A, I have to pick between the younger girls or the older girls.

I really thought they'd just match me up with one person and we can get on with it. I will say, that I'm impressed with the thoughfulness of how the program is run. But I'm am concerned with my ability to pick the correct way to go, where I can have the most impact.

I'll pray about it. I hope I don't take too long. Which program and age group would you pick and why?

1 comment:

Ishea said...

Okay... here's my 2 cents lol:

I don't think either of those options seem to be the best fit for you. Ideally, it seems like you'd want the flexibility of Group B with the quality of Group A. The time commitment required for Group A chicks seems to be something that you'd do for YEARS. Not a year and you're done... but you're part of this child's life for YEARS! lol... which is awesome... but you have NO intention of staying that city for 2 years, thus it doesn't seem fair in a way to come into the more stable child's life when you know you'll be gone in a year or two, simply because YOU feel the need to give back.

With Group B, they're the more rambunctious bunch and could probably benefit greatly from your guidance, but again, these women aren't as stable and not guaranteed to be there. On top of that, if you can't guarantee the amount of time you can spend with them, how much of an impact can you actually have?

If you're dead set on volunteering through this program, and honestly they've made you jump through 101 hoops so your determination is admirable, I think Group B may be the better fit. You get to have the biggest bang for your volunteer buck, if you will. Plus these girls seem to be the most in need, and even if you only impact one girl's life, that's still amazing!