Thursday, July 26, 2012

Video, Mentor/Mentee Panel, NMS 2012

National Mentoring Summit, January 25, 2012

From my notes of this luncheon panel and avoiding video content as much as possible:                                                                                                                                           
A couple of questions:  Where would you be…, what did the program or your mentor provide, what about time to be a mentor…   One response:  “Make time instead of watching TiVo!”                                                           

Mentors provided motivation in a variety of areas including reasons to continue education.
Tiani is mentored by Joy. “Where would you be if not for the College-Bound Program?”

Jimmy  Fred, the middle school principal, who has mentored Jimmy for seven years beginning in eighth grade, said being a principal is not necessarily a one-on-one business as mentoring is.  He commented that there have been frustrating times but they just worked through them.  Jimmy, the only Asian there and presumably in his program, felt this was a problem and asked “Why?” [Implying the need for mentoring Asians, too, existed]

Jonathan  Jonathan became a gang member in fifth grade.  Big Brothers Big Sisters has a Hispanic program that changed his life when he was matched with Ron, a Marine.  Keys to their relationship success were consistency and fun!  From Ron Hines, Jonathan learned encouragement, preparation, determination, [that] life is not always easy, and [that they could] work through anything.

Chad, the panel’s youngest mentee at 12 years of age, has a single-parent mom, who thought a male role model would help him study, talk out problems, and give advice.  David, his mentor, who works in public policy, heard a Concerned Black Men National Organization’s mentoring PSA.  David’s advice is “Don’t just want something to happen, be that change! “

D'Vondre, shot by DC police at age 14 and with the prognosis of lifetime paralysis, had to learn to walk again alone in jail.  His transformation was a four-year journey.  Now he mentors!  He sees himself in some of the kids at the youth center.  He made the change by 18; at the summit he was 22 and giving back.  His mentor Kevin pointed out D’Vondre’s choices to live or not, to negotiate his life at school or on his way home, although the odds are against him.  As D’Vondre remarked in the video below, he “know[s] street politics…”  Kevin still mentors D’Vondre, a young adult.

You never know the potential of a young person until you spend time with him or her.  A mentor must have the eye of a sculptor who can see what is inside that block of rock.  [Paraphrase from the session]    Ret. 7-26-12

(This edited version on is about 12 ½ minutes long; the entire discussion was inspiring.  To skip to the mentors and mentees, drag the video's time indicator forward to the right.)

Executive Director of the Minnesota Mentoring Partnership Joellen Gonder-Spacek.
Moderator:  The Founder and Executive Director of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Beverly Bond.
Youth mentees:  Tiani, Jimmy, Jonathan, Chad and D'Vondre.
 Adult mentors:  Joy, Fred, John (representing Ron then deployed in Afghanistan), David and Kevin.

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