Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mentor Mini-Training Docs

Useful resources for mentors of older mentees, many of these should be customized for different towns or cities.  Note that more will be added each month on the Friends for Youth website. 'Clever!

Friends for Youth, located in Centennial, Colorado, specializes in working with youth involved in the corrections, the juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. http://friendsforyouth.nationbuilder.com/   Ret. 5-22-15


Resources and TrainingsSteph___KacyEDIT.jpg  

Friends for Youth has many different resources available to you to help best equip you on your mentoring journey....

Our Mini-Training series - 
Each month we are 
developing a mini-training 
for mentors on the go!  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mentor Tact More Important than Wisdom?

Read reflectively and to watch/listen to the videos. Among many "favorite" parts are the description of what a mentor's job really is and the discussion of the word tact.

By  May 7, 2015

Tactful mentors: A mentor is often someone older, but must she also be wiser?  

Michael J. Karcher, Ed.D., Ph.D.When I train mentors, especially those with considerable life and work experience, or when I discuss training with mentoring professionals who provide training to such mentors in their programs, I try to make clear my belief that mentors need to know that a youth mentor’s job is not to “talk at” or “inform” the mentee about what they should do in life. Nor is it to get the mentee “on the right path” by teaching them what to do and not do. (We all know most kids referred for mentoring programs already get this information from [too] many other adults in their lives, whether they want it or not.)
The mentor’s primary job is to sit with the youth, show interest in the youth, respect who the youth is, and try to really, deeply, and respectfully understand the worlds in which the youth lives (family, community, etc.). A mentor’s primary goal, I think, should be to validate the mentee’s worth by conveying an interest in and respect for the mentee and all aspects of the mentee’s world and experience.
This, I believe, can awaken some kids to the idea that there are other, similar adults in the world, outside their family and community, who will take an interest in them and support them. A mentor of mine, Mike Nakkula, once shared with me this view—that what a mentor does is help the child or youth learn how to receive and ultimately solicit mentoring from others in the future.
There is the parable that says if you give a person a fish, you feed the person for the day; if you help the person learn to fish, you help that person feed himself or herself for a lifetime. Similarly, rather than try to solve the youth’s problems (as if you could!), help the youth learn that others will value, listen to, and care for him or her and you have done the best job of pointing a child down “the right path” by your actions, your compassion, your interest, your love. You’ve pointed them in the direction of openness to others.
Don’t misunderstand my analogy. Teaching the person to fish is not what we typically consider to be imparting “wisdom” to the child or telling him or her “what to do” in life. Rather, this mentor teaches the youth that he or she can be successful at fishing for other mentors. This sort of “teaching” happens when the youth experiences being received by the mentor.
This older and wiser mentor does not impart wisdom. This mentor is wise to the extent to which she operates from a place of tact, from a place of integrity that respects and honors the depth of the youth’s personhood and life, and acknowledges the vastness of what the mentor knows she knows nothing about.
To underscore this point, I suggest having mentors view a video about the final virtue in the Eriksons’ developmental model. It is about wisdom. Joan Erikson describes what achieving integrity, as the last developmental milestone, looks like in real life. In this video, Joan Erikson revisits and revises their 8th stage. Joan is the wife of Erik Erikson, who is usually given full credit for identifying and detailing the 8 stages of development. (Yet Joan was in fact instrumental in its development—no mentoring pun intended.)
In that video, Joan says she wanted to make this video (at age 90) because she realized “We were wrong. We had not been there,” and she and Erik did not know what we were talking about. We should all be so “wise.”
Parts of the video usually seen—not about wisdom:

A more focused clip for mentors to watch about the nature of “wisdom” as tact:
In the video, she suggests it is not wisdom but tact that reflects the developmental achievement of integrity in the 8th stage of life. I just thought you might find her “correction” interesting and useful when helping orient mentors, especially experienced ones, to their true task.
For those who might have mentors read and discuss Joan’s video during training, I’ve tried my best to transcribe the video so you have a text source for what she says in case video is not available during training. Below, at the end of this entry, I pasted what I view as the best parts of this interview.
But let me excerpt my favorite part of the interview. In the first 20 minutes of interview she says she wanted to know how “wisdom” is defined. And, because wisdom is, as she and Erik defined it, the product of successfully achieving the developmental task of integrity, she looked that word up. And there, this artist and theorist found a definition of integrity that she (from my perspective) would like us to view as a replacement for the notion of what it means to be wise.
Tactful. And that seems to me to be really the word that describes how you relate to other people, to other things also, but particularly to other people, because if you are tactful then you have taken into consideration who they are, where they are, what they are and give them full credit and somehow manage to make a contact with them that makes you empathic and interested and open to their friendship or their acquaintance and their understanding.
Indeed, I found in my Mac’s dictionary the following definition of tact, that seems so much was a mentor should prioritize in her dealings with a mentee: “adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues. For example, ‘the inspector broke the news to me with tact and consideration.’ ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (denoting the sense of touch): via French from Latin tactus ‘touch, sense of touch,’ from tangere ‘to touch.’ ”
The goal of the mentor is to emotionally, spiritually, and interpersonally touch the child, to consider who they are, in their totality and with deep respect, and do to so with the intention of receiving the child, not the child receiving the world of the mentor. A mentor’s tact, as realized by the child or y outh feeling valued, understood, important and unique, may open a youth, who might otherwise be closed and guarded, up to a real friendship.
Perhaps being and older and “wiser” in this way, a mentor may help that youth come to more deeply trust that there are other people, even those who might seem very foreign to the youth, who will care about him or her. Tactful mentors may affirm for youth, in a new or deeper way, that both familiar others in expectable future worlds (high school, workplace, etc.) as well as unfamiliar others in foreign future worlds (e.g., higher education, etc.), there will be mentors there for them, to value, care for, listen to, and tactfully interact with them.
Mentoring program staff, thank you for bringing tactful mentors to the youth who need them most.

My transcript of the interview, for folks who want to share or cite Joan Erikson’s interview.
Joan Erikson, On Old Age I: A Conversation with Joan Erikson at 90 (Davidson films ©  1995)
Final stage is integrity versus despair, with the final virtue “wisdom”
“The thing that I had on my mind and felt responsible for was when I looked at the eight stages, I realized all of a sudden that what we had decided was a good way to put the final stage, the 8th stage, that that was not necessarily right—that it was just plain wrong—because all of the other parts of the life cycle, as you experience them, you experience them and you are in contact with them and you know what is going on in them to a certain extent, not entirely, but by the end of the stage you know you have been coping with the problems that are in the very naming of the stages.
Generativity, which is the next to the last one, you are feeling very strongly about that, and particularly when you think, “Well what have I done?” And you get to be 90, and when you get to be 90, and you say well, what do I feel about the last stage and think about it, you realize you don’t feel very great about it, because you don’t feel wise. And you don’t feel as it were that you have conquered integrity or really come to terms with it actively enough to say you “got it” which you never do. So wisdom and integrity are things that, something other people might see in old person, but it is not something older person is feeling, and that’s what kind of roused me to want to see what old people feel and what they have to face as far as life is concerned.
What you feel is when someone turns to you and says now you are in the 8th stage, and that’s wisdom and integrity, and you think, well how do I feel standing up there about wisdom and integrity, and you feel like the Emperor in the story, when he did not have any clothes on at all and you have faced reality, that you come up very bare, that you have nothing to offer, that think touches on those things, and it makes you thoughtful. It does not mean that you don’t have them in mind, but that you question them, you question the fact of whether you are ever going to have, what we use to think, which was that a lot of knowledge made for wisdom, but suddenly you realize that having a lot of knowledge is not going to help anybody, there is so much you don’t have and are never going to have that it is a pittance…but what you do have is a sense that nobody is going to have wisdom in the way we thought about it. They may have some very good ideas in some elements of their life; but a wise person is very hard to find, and that is interesting for you to consider when you think about who the wise person in world have been.
And I think the dictionary itself gives you the clue, if you look it up, that really being wise is know “how to”—not “know” something—because if you know “how to” then you are resilient, you can move from this to that and so on; and to know how to is the epitome of wisdom, really, and you have had a lot of it, in sprinkles all through your life, but you don’t suddenly feel blessed with it in quantity just because you are older. So that’s off the beat {?}”
The word we discussed, integrity, is just as problematic if not more so. …What I thought to do about trying to figure out what it was, was to look it up in small dictionaries but they never gave enough…So finally, I looked it up in the Oxford, great big dictionary, that you can barely hold on your lap, and I found it in there, and it was amazing to me to see how much of a page it took up, one whole half of one big sheet was showing the word and then all of the little bits of it that…go all the way down to the bottom of the page…and way down on the bottom of the page you come to the word, and you wouldn’t believe what it is, and it’s tact. And if that isn’t an amazing soul. You think, what in the world does that mean, and you see it means contact, impact and, what I like, it includes tactful. And that seems to me to be really the word that describes how you relate to other people, to other things also, but particularly to other people, because if you are tactful then you have taken into consideration who they are, where they are, what they are and give them full credit and somehow manage to make a contact with them that makes you empathic and interested and open to their friendship or their acquaintance and their understanding. And that I liked that so much thought to saying “Hallelujah” that I finally found something that really means something to me because touching and doing and making and the contact that you have with all materials and everything in the world is so important to what life for me has been that to find out that that is the source of integrity or at least the beginning source of it that seemed to answer many, many questions for me and to make it come alive in a wonderful way.
Ret. 5-5-15

Friday, May 22, 2015

Books, Boyhood to Manhood

We liked this collection of books found on Earl Hipp's Man Making website. Some of them are literary classics. Order them from your local library.

Mentors should always read books first before giving them to their mentees. Discussion of ideas is inevitable and desirable.

Other Hipp links:

Note his disclaimer preceding the book list.

This is a collection of titles that have either been referred to in the Man-Making book or suggested by contributors. They are in no particular order and I don’t necessarily endorse the ideas in every book. I offer them as a broad spectrum of view points on man-making, manhood, and related topics. Clicking a title will take you directly to Amazon.com or the book’s website where you can read more about the book and purchase it if you’re interested.

·         Retribing: The Unpaved Road to Manhood ; by A.J. Rippo

·         Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger; by Kevin Bolger

·         Hold On to Your N.U.T.s: The Relationship Manual for Men; by Wayne M. Levine

·         Men on a Mission – Valuing Youth Work in Our Communities; by William Marsiglio

·         Squires to Knights – Mentoring Our Teenage Boys; by Jeff Purkiss

·         Boy Smarts: Mentoring Boys for Success at School; by Barry MacDonnald

·         The Lord of the Flies; by William Golding

·         The Wonder of Boys; by Michael Gurian

·         The Peter Pan Syndrome; by Dan Kiley

·         Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood; by William S. Pollack

·         Puberty Boy; by Geoff Price

·         Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys; by Michael Thompson and Dan Kindlon

·         Talking Back to Ritalin: What Doctors Aren’t Telling You About Stimulants and ADHD ; by Peter R. Breggin and Dick Scruggs

·         From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our LivesAudiobook by Robert Fulghum

·         The Art of Ritual: Creating and Performing Ceremonies for Growth and Change; written by Renee Beck, Metrick

·         Manhood; by Steven Biddulph

·         The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By; written by Carol S. Pearson

·         Reviving the Wonder: 76 Activities That Touch the Inner Spirit of Youth; written by Ric Stuecker, Suze Rutherford

·         The Hero with a Thousand Faces ; by Joseph Campbell

·         Primitive Mythology – The Masks of God ; by Joseph Campbell

·         Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation; by Richard Rohr

·         The Force of Character: And the Lasting Life; by James Hillman

·         From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older; by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Ronald S. Miller


Ret. 5-22-15

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Research & Programs - Troubled Teens

Another article from the Chronicle of Evidenced-Based Mentoring...  
By  May 6, 2015

Programs that help teens and young adults succeed

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.18.32 AMEditor’s note: In recent days, YouthBuild has been getting some very nice press. The “second chance” program, which is based in Boston, has over 250 programs across nearly 46 states serving older adolescents and young adults across the country. In this piece, Professor David Kirp describes YouthBuild and other programs that are making a difference. 
From the New York Times
David L. Kirp is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a contributing opinion writer.
The conventional wisdom among social scientists is that there’s little payoff in investing in troubled teenagers. As the University of Chicago economist James J. Heckman argued in 2011, “we overinvest in attempting to remediate the problems of disadvantaged adolescents and underinvest in the early years of disadvantaged children,” when the potential gains are supposedly the largest.
But this consensus is wrong, as we now know from recent scholarship. Take YouthBuild, which runs 260 programs in 46 states for about 10,000 16- to 24-year-olds. Nearly all of them high-school dropouts and poor; 31 percent have a criminal record, and 29 percent are parents.
YouthBuild’s model is straightforward — half academics and half on-the-job training. “In high school, no one gave a damn, but here, they really care about you,” one young man at the YouthBuild program center in Cambridge, Mass., told me. “They have your back.”
Kids who have “reached a dead end” are offered “a community that helps them find their purpose,” Dorothy Stoneman, who founded YouthBuild, told me. Seventy-seven percent of those who join earn a high school diploma, a G.E.D. or an industry-recognized credential, and 61 percent are placed in jobs and postsecondary education. The recidivism rate, within one year of enrollment in a YouthBuild program for those who have been in prison, is under 10 percent, well below the average.
Teachers and counselors make themselves available around the clock, and not just for schoolwork — they go to court with their students and help them get a driver’s license or draft a college application. Most of the participants build or repair homes for poor or homeless people, earning a modest stipend.
Melody Barnes, formerly President Obama’s chief domestic policy adviser, says YouthBuild graduates are “determined, smart and civic-minded, and but for programs like this one they would have been left behind,” she said.
Summer-job programs zero in on teenagers who are on the cusp of dropping out. Left to their devices, odds are that they’ll wind up on the streets or in jail. Summer internships are intended to reverse this trajectory by giving youngsters solid work experience and a paycheck, as well as the skills that spell success: dependability, perseverance, being a team player, understanding when to walk away from conflict.
Since the 1960s, New York City has run the nation’s largest publicly managed summer jobs program. Nearly 50,000 14- to 24-four-year-olds spend six weeks working, not only in publicly funded day care centers, summer camps, hospitals and city agencies, but also high-tech firms and Fortune 500 companies. After Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, interns helped clean the city’s beaches.
Because there are more applicants than jobs, the young employees are selected by lottery; less than half of applicants are accepted. My colleague Alexander Gelber, and his fellow economists Adam Isen at the Treasury Department and Judd B. Kessler at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, used this natural experiment to track nearly 300,000 adolescents who entered the lottery between 2005 and 2008.
The program kept many of them from getting into trouble. Those who were 19 or older during the summer they worked were 54 percent less likely to wind up in a New York State prison than those who didn’t have that experience. They were nearly 20 percent less likely to die young. Because homicide accounted for fully half of the deaths in their peer group, it’s plausible that the “soft skills” they acquired enabled them to avoid possibly deadly situations.
A 2012 study by Institute for Education and Social Policy at New York University found that attendance improved, especially for youths in serious academic trouble. About 100 more students with low prior attendance passed the state’s high-stakes English and math exams than those who were turned down by the program, giving them a shot at college.
Chicago began a new summer jobs initiative in 2012. Teenage violence — especially murders of young black men — was a major concern. The hope was that, through a combination of work experience and intense mentoring — a similar model as YouthBuild — adolescents could learn to stop and think before turning a conflict into an assault.
Among those who held summer jobs, there were 43 percent fewer arrests for violent crime over the next 16 months, compared with those who hadn’t participated, a study last year found. “This impact wasn’t just because these teens were busier,” Sara Heller, a criminologist at Penn, told me. “Most of the decline happened afterward. This moment in kids’ lives — when they are showing signs of disconnection from school and may have gotten in trouble with the law, but haven’t dropped out — may be the sweet spot for low-cost interventions.”
More than five million young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 are neither working nor in school. And every year, 1.3 million teenagers drop out of high school. If no one reaches out to these disengaged youths, many of them face bleak futures — “being in jail or dead,” as Ms. Stoneman bluntly put it. We must invest in programs that can turn things around for these kids.