NOVEMBER 14, 2018
BY: ABIGAIL ELLIS M.S.W., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MENTOR INDEPENDENCE REGION
The Garage Community and Youth Center has been a haven for middle and high school youth living near their two sites in Kennett Square and West Grove, Pennsylvania. Amongst diverse out of school time, programs like arts, community service activities, career coaching, and tutoring, their longstanding mentoring program was a cornerstone for the center. Operated by a tenured staff member with deep organizational knowledge, the program provided high quality mentoring experiences year over year to the Garage students.
While students were receiving high quality services, the Garage staff ran into a common problem. Executive Director Kristin Proto says, "When one person is running [the program], the process lives in that person's head. Doing this assessment can help bring that knowledge back to the organization. We can ask questions like, how does what we say we do translate into what happens on the ground? Is it working? Is what we put into place five years ago still relevant?"