Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm officially a mentor!

It's about time!!! So here's the deal. I chose to work with the Gwen's Girl's group home. At any given time there are up to 13 teens and young adults between the ages of 13 and 19 and their respective children in the home.

I did my first observation a couple of weeks ago and decided to move forward with it. (They want you to observe first, so you don't commit and then back out).

Despite my better judgment (I'm a busy professional with an unpredictable schedule), I have agreed to be there every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m.

Since this is the girls' home, they are almost always there during that time. (vs. weekends when they have home visits and free time.)

Wednesdays are also the day that I'm most likely to be in town and open.

But enough about my schedule. I need stuff to do with the girls.

Who has good mentee activities? It needs to be something that can be done in a group setting, at a table and engaging for 2 hours (or so) at a time.

I also don't want to be lame or fake. I never had a mentor as a child, so I don't have a model. Here are some things I'm thinking about doing:

- Vision Board (thought I think this is a weak activity and I probably won't do it)
- Identifying favorite women leaders for women's history month
- A discussion beauty (think Dove brand example)
- A career discussion (I can tell them what I do and have them brainstorm ideas with me)
- Something about safe sex
- Something about black history
- Something about local leaders. Let's find out who the local leaders are.
- Something about voting, elections, local government...

Any other suggestions? Any tips for me? I have to do one of these in 2 days. I want to be prepared!


Elle KiDD said...

Are all of them mothers? If so, parenting activities would be great. Particularly if the children will be present during that time.

Topic suggestions:
Healthy relationships - with family, friends, romantic, etc. You can also touch on the signs of abuse, and self esteem. Create a music playlist of songs that are uplifting and encouraging.

Hygiene! Some young adults don't REALLY know how to take care of their bodies.

Healthy eating (for both mom and child). That age group typically eats lots of chips and fast food.

T said...

Thanks Kidd! This is super helpful! They're not all moms, but I'll see what type of parenting I may be able to include. Actually, I think there's a lot about reading to kids that's important/interesting and since they all live with the kids, they can all read to them.

Ishea said...

Congrats! Glad to see you persevered and finally made it through the vetting process. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being vetted as thoroughly as you were. That must be a good thing.

So, I think you have a great start, but should think of fun ways to tailor the message to the girls that are there. I'm thinking back to when I was that age and I think the women who had the greatest affect on me embraced my personality while sharing their wisdom in a fun way.

I'd also add some physical activities, health/wellness, and creative stuff.

My contribution:

1) Yoga - if they have a DVD player you could easily bring in a Jeanette Jenkins DVD or see if any local instructors would donate an hour of their time. A great way to expose some of these girls to an easy fitness routine that'll help them relax.

2) Maybe a dance workout. Get them up and moving... shaking it in a fun, not trashy way. This is always fun. Let's them showcase their personality ... think soul train line lol

3) Nurtition / Healthy Eating workshop. Even something as simple as picking healthier options.

4) Financial workshop - they're at the perfect age to start learning about money, savings, credit, etc.

5) Not sure if you could speak to them about education, but it'd be dope to arrange a college tour for any local places in the area, or see if a counselor would be willing to come in and speak with the ladies.

6) Creative writing workout - - I think you could bring in magazines and have everyone pick a picture.. then either write a poem or short story on the image they chose. Just get their creative juices flowing.

7) Something silly and fun could be "taking the perfect selfie." Yeah, it's light-hearted, but everything can't always be deep and this is the generation they're growing up in.

Just thinking about these is kind of fun. Look at you making me want to go run out and be a mentor lol