National Mentoring Resource Center Blog

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LGBTQ Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring

JUNE 10, 2019

LGBTQ Supplement

With the recent release of The LGBTQ Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, mentoring professionals across the country are finally able to access a growing number of research- and practitioner- informed recommendations that can improve the safety and quality of services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Why is the LGBTQ Youth Supplement Important?

LGBTQ youth—estimated to be seven percent of the U.S. population (ages 8-18)— are present in almost every mentoring program in the country. Although many LGBTQ youth are out and will openly disclose information about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with program staff and mentors they trust, many more—especially those that are in elementary or middle school and in earlier phases of identity development—may still be questioning, feeling unsure about their place in the world, and are looking for clues as to whether they will be safe and will be accepted when interacting with service providers.

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My Experience Bringing Mentoring to Tribal Communities

JUNE 7, 2019

Mentoring AI/AIN Youth

Welcome to this blog post! The NMRC has this great new evidence review on mentoring American Indian and Alaskan Native youth up on the website (co-authored by yours truly), and before you read it, I want to share just a bit about some of the things I have learned that worked in my career. This context will help you understand some of the areas of emphasis in the larger review.

First, I have been sincerely inspired by the Native American culture and their traditions, values, and spirituality. Each time I implement my mentorship intervention, my heart for this culture grows. I will note that my experiences doing this work are limited to one tribe in South Dakota and one in Wisconsin and thus, my perspective is not reflective of all Native American tribes or traditions. This is a “culture” that respectfully encompasses many different languages, traditions, and values spread across the full geographic scope of Native America.  I will probably only scratch the surface of the rich diversity in my career.

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Creating Tiered Levels of Support to Sustainably Reduce Coordinator Burn-Out

MAY 16, 2019

Mentor Connector

Five years ago, I quickly became the ringleader of the controlled chaos at The Mentor Connector. At first, the small staff were overworked and struggling to keep up with the demand. Our mentor match to staff ratio was well over 65:1 and funding for mentoring services had been waning for the past four years. There was no way we could continue to provide high-quality mentoring to all our matches, much less think about growth.

I’m sure you would agree that the Mentor Coordinator position is basically a catch-all for every aspect of a mentoring program. The coordinator is the recruiter, trainer, supporter, evaluator, and many times the fundraiser of the organization. It is the coordinator who could find themselves recruiting at a community event in the morning, to cleaning the office after an afternoon activity, to providing evening support to a mentor when her youth discloses suicidal thoughts. With the current structure, burnout was inevitable.

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Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers Model Commitment, Teamwork and Drive

APRIL 30, 2019


Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers work with some of society’s most vulnerable children—those who have experienced abuse or neglect. When someone signs up to be a CASA volunteer, they’re signing up to advocate for the best interests of a child in court.

Volunteers work with child welfare agencies, legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for the best interest of each child.

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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Resources and Learning Opportunities from OJJDP and the NMRC

APRIL 9, 2019

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for communities nationwide to encourage action to improve the safety and well-being of youth. National Child Abuse Prevention Month is an annual observance that focuses on promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families, and raising awareness about the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. According to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report, 3.5 million children were subject to at least one maltreatment report in fiscal year 2017. OJJDP is partnering with the HHS Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau, the National Children’s Alliance, and OJJDP’s National Mentoring Resource Center to promote community partnerships and support efforts to address child abuse and neglect. Learn more about these partnerships and what you can do to end child abuse.

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