There’s no magic formula to mentoring. Each person in our program is here for a reason, but those reasons are very different—depression, foreclosure, addiction, family issues. During these difficult times, our mentors are challenged to build their mentee up, exploring what gives the participant value and acknowledging their worth.
Mentoring begins with matching our Change Maker volunteers with program participants. Once participants reach their 12th week of enrollment, they meet with our Mentor Coordinator, Donna, who pairs them with an ideal mentor for their individual needs. “Matching starts with knowing the program participant,” says Donna, “knowing what he or she is doing well at in the program and also knowing what he or she needs to improve upon.”
She also assesses volunteers, surveying their interests, hobbies and reasons for mentoring. Once paired, each mentor attends an orientation followed by an initial meeting with their program participant. Donna is at every first encounter, and after she makes introductions, she steps out and lets their relationship unfold.
THREE TYPES OF MENTORING AT THE MISSION:
Mentors help break the cycle of poverty by taking a child under their wing. These children are kids of families who live at The Crossing. Over a six-month time frame, mentors seek to have a weekly connection focused on anything from helping with homework to playing games.
We serve two types of families—those transitioning out of homelessness and refugees. Small groups meet with families once a month for six months discussing practical life skills such as budgeting and parenting.
Support from mentors provides additional accountability to men and women enrolled in our programs. Mentors meet with program participants twice a month for 12 months, creating a healthy space for encouragement.
Help us provide mentorship opportunities to more people who need help!
WHAT MENTORS SAY:
“Being a mentor is about building a relationship and a level of trust in her life. We work through what her goals are and I try to provide guidance and insight into how she can reach those goals.”
“I talk to my mentee about once a week. I just meet him where he’s at. The experience has really broadened my view of people and helped me find value in people’s stories that are different than mine.”
“My mentee is 12. When we first met, she ran up to me and gave me a big hug; I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting her to be so excited.”
Would you like to become a mentor?
WHAT MENTEES SAY:
“It’s like going to see family. [My mentors] are like mother figures to me. I love how they greet me and that I always get to bring my daughter with me.”
—GWYNNIESHA, Mom and Family Rescue Ministry Mentee
“I think it’s a very good resource. Mentoring helps you to adapt to the U.S. and I am very happy with my relationship with the volunteers. They always help me if I ask and even got us an English teacher who comes to our house.”
—ALIAKSANDR N., Family Refugee Services Mentee
“My mentor gives me the space to talk freely and express myself. We go out and do different things in the city. Our time together builds me up so when I come back to The Crossing, I’m my best self.”
—JEANETTE, Mom and STAR Transitional Program Mentee
Read the Full Newsletter
This article was featured in the September 2018 issue of Changing Lives titled “Mentoring Matters.”
Also in this issue:
- Letter from the CEO
- Harvest Farm Fall Festival
- Double your donation
- Jordan Jackson, CEO of Security Central, on Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters