Excuse Our Crowns Creates Goals and Develops a Curriculum to Meet Them with Help from MENTOR Colorado
Excuse Our Crowns, Inc. (EOC) is an Oklahoma-based organization that works with girls ages 9-18 to strengthen life skills and explore healthy social relationships. Structured as a group program, EOC provides a safe setting for girls to gather and discuss topics relevant to them, and to bond over arts and crafts or group outings.
Founder Twyila Stewart was already doing an amazing job engaging the girls in her program, and she had a vision for what she wanted her program to be. She envisioned a structured curriculum for developing the girls’ skill sets in a way they found both engaging and enjoyable. To help get from ‘point A’ to ‘point B,’ Stewart applied for no-cost technical assistance (TA) from the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC).
EOC’s TA Provider from the NMRC, Cheryl Clark of MENTOR Colorado, jumped at the chance to work with Stewart and her organization. “What’s wonderful about my job is that I get to provide support to [work already going on in the community],” Cheryl shared. Collaborating remotely, Clark and Stewart developed an orientation package that delineated EOC’s goals and expectations that would be given to all mentees and parents. From there, they were able to build a curriculum around those goals, as well as develop training sessions to prepare mentees and parents for the program. Mentors received training, as well; they learned to develop SMART goals, a method for concrete goal setting, so that the girls would see the process in action every day.
Both Stewart and Clark are proud of the work they have done. The curriculum they developed ensures that the girls are hitting the benchmarks the program expects and having fun along the way. Says Stewart, “I'm so glad I found the TA assistance; without it I wouldn't have gotten to the starting point I needed.” Clark, however, gives here more credit. “The way she was engaging with the kids, that was all her,” she says. “With just a little more support in what she was already doing, I was able to provide some more resources…I have the pleasure of meeting organizations where they are, and help them get where they want to be.”
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) partners with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to deliver the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) to the mentoring field. In addition to convening a Research Board which develops evidence-based reviews about mentoring topics, and offering a comprehensive mentoring resource center website, the NMRC provides mentoring programs nationwide with the opportunity to request and receive no-cost technical assistance to help them more deeply incorporate evidence-based practices into their programming. Once a mentoring program requests technical assistance, their request is assigned to a local or regional technical assistance provider within MENTOR's network of state and local affiliates and TA providers. New and emerging mentoring programs may benefit from technical assistance to help them design and implement programs that meet quality standards as outlined in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, while existing or established programs may utilize TA to improve operations, assess impact, or adapt their program to changing or emerging community needs.