Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Career and Mentor Resources

Be A Mentor in Charleston, South Carolina, has provided a helpful list of resources for mentors.  The topics include "Connecting with Your Mentee," "Lunch Buddies" (Look at this whether you do the lunch buddies model or not.) and "Career Path Mentoring," which includes information on financial aid, financial literacy, budgeting, etc. 


Be A Mentor is the lunch buddies model oriented toward careers and for older students, e.g., middle school.

About Be A Mentor from its website: 

"Be A Mentor was founded in 2004 as an umbrella organization that worked to recruit and refer individuals who were interested in mentoring to organizations throughout The Lowcountry. In 2010, Be A Mentor launched their own mentoring Lunch Buddy programs that worked to fill the need for in-school mentoring.

In the past three years, the Lunch Buddies program has expanded into nine elementary schools and three middle schools. Through weekly meetings, our mentors work to instill confidence, build social and emotional skills, as well as work to ensure that every child has a caring adult in their lives.

Be A Mentor will continue to expand our programs for the 2013-2014 academic years. In Fall 2013, we will debut our new program, Project SHINE. Project SHINE will focus on career exploration and academic success at the middle school grade levels. Mentors in Project SHINE will be given the opportunity to work one on one with a middle school student and together they will be able to work on setting and reaching goals." 


Friday, April 26, 2013

Mentors & Others: Personal Influence

Leedey's B.I.S.O.N. Mentor Appreciation Banquet, April 22, generated thought about the power of anyone's influence.  The Art of Manliness blog happens to be the choice for this still popular, relevant 1905 essay. 

Manvotional: The Power of Personal Influence

by Brett & Kate McKay on September 11, 2010

The Power of Personal Influence

from Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty by William George Jordan, 1905

The only responsibility that a man cannot evade in this life is the one he thinks of least,—his personal influence. Man’s conscious influence, when he is on dress-parade, when he is posing to impress those around him,—is woefully small. But his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, the trifles he never considers, —is tremendous. Every moment of life he is changing to a degree the life of the whole world. Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other. So silent and unconsciously is this influence working, that man may forget that it exists.

All the forces of Nature,—heat, light, electricity and gravitation,—are silent and invisible. We never see them.; we only know that they exist by seeing the effects they produce. In all Nature the wonders of the “seen ” are dwarfed into insignificance when compared with the majesty and glory of the “unseen.”

Into the hands of every individual is given a marvellous power for good or for evil,—the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what a man really is, not what he pretends to be. Every man, by his mere living, is radiating sympathy, or sorrow, or morbidness, or cynicism, or happiness, or hope, or any of a hundred other qualities. Life is a state of constant radiation and absorption; to exist is to radiate; to exist is to be the recipient of radiations.

There are men and women whose presence seems to radiate sunshine, cheer and optimism. You feel calmed and rested and restored in a moment to a new and stronger faith in humanity. There are others who focus in an instant all your latent distrust, morbidness and rebellion against life. Without knowing why, you chafe and fret in their presence. You lose your bearings on life and its problems. Your moral compass is disturbed and unsatisfactory. It is made untrue in an instant, as the magnetic needle of a ship is deflected when it passes near great mountains of iron ore.

There are men who float down the stream of life like icebergs,—cold, reserved, unapproachable and self-contained. In their presence you involuntarily draw your wraps closer around you, as you wonder who left the door open. These refrigerated human beings have a most depressing influence on all those who fall under the spell of their radiated chilliness. But there are other natures, warm, helpful, genial, who are like the Gulf Stream, following their own course, flowing undaunted and undismayed in the ocean of colder waters. Their presence brings warmth and life and the glow of sunshine, the joyous, stimulating breath of spring.

There are men who are like malarious swamps,—poisonous, depressing and weakening by their very presence. They make heavy, oppressive and gloomy the atmosphere of their own homes; the sound of the children’s play is stilled, the ripples of laughter are frozen by their presence. They go through life as if each day were a new big funeral, and they were always chief mourners. There are other men who seem like the ocean; they are constantly bracing, stimulating, giving new draughts of tonic life and strength by their very presence.

There are men who are insincere in heart, and that insincerity is radiated by their presence. They have a wondrous interest in your welfare,—when they need you. They put on a “property” smile so suddenly, when it serves their purpose, that it seems the smile must be connected with some electric button concealed in their clothes. Their voice has a simulated cordiality that long training may have made almost natural. But they never play their part absolutely true, the mask will slip down sometimes; their cleverness cannot teach their eyes the look of sterling honesty; they may deceive some people, but they cannot deceive all. There is a subtle power of revelation which makes us say: “Well, I cannot explain how it is, but I know that man is not honest.”

Man cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constantly weakening or strengthening of others. He cannot evade the responsibility by saying it is an unconscious influence. He can select the qualities that he will permit to be radiated. He can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility,—make them vitally active in his character,—and by these qualities he will constantly affect the world…

Men and women have duties to others,—and duties to themselves. In justice to ourselves we should refuse to live in an atmosphere that keeps us from living our best. If the fault be in us, we should master it. If it be the personal influence of others that, like a noxious vapor, kills our best impulses, we should remove from that influence, —if we can possibly move without forsaking duties. If it be wrong to move, then we should take strong doses of moral quinine to counteract the malaria of influence. It is not what those around us do for us that counts,—it is what they are to us. We carry our houseplants from one window to another to give them the proper heat, light, air and moisture. Should we not be at least as careful of ourselves?

To make our influence felt we must live our faith, we must practice what we believe. A magnet does not attract iron, as iron. It must first convert the iron into another magnet before it can attract it. It is useless for a parent to try to teach gentleness to her children when she herself is cross and irritable. The child who is told to be truthful and who hears a parent lie cleverly to escape some little social unpleasantness is not going to cling very zealously to truth. The parent’s words say “don’t lie,” the influence of the parent’s life says “do lie.”

No man can ever isolate himself to evade this constant power of influence, as no single corpuscle can rebel and escape from the general course of the blood. No individual is so insignificant as to be without influence. The changes in our varying moods are all recorded in the delicate barometers of the lives of- others. We should ever let our influence filter through human love and sympathy. We should not be merely an influence,—we should be an inspiration. By our very presence we should be a tower of strength to the hungering human souls around us.

Photo:  easyvectors.com  
Ret. 4-25-13

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Your Mentee's Journey Map

This is a clever tool for talking to your mentee about his or her future.  Go to the link since it is interactive. 

Imagine creating your own mentee's journey path with areas to fill in as your mentee ages. 

Personal journeys will probably look different, but exploration, goal-setting and achievement matter. 

This could be recreated digitally, on paper or on a whiteboard with photo documentation. 

Update and review regularly! 
                                                       Courtesy of the

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tools for Directors and Staff

Not all of these tools apply to mentoring organization directors and staff, but as with all aspects of mentoring, we borrow and adapt whatever we can.  The Logic Model focuses upon inputs and outputs. 
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Knowledge Center: 
Logic Model Development Guide (evaluation download)
Template for Strategic Communications Plan (online download)

creating Spaces for Change (report)

Online Learning Community
[Free Resources]

What is the FRIENDS Online Learning Center?
The FRIENDS Online Learning Center is a resource designed to meet the demands of providing high quality, subject specific training free of charge for CBCAP State Lead Agencies and their grantees and others. The Online Learning Center is designed to offer accessible continuing education and professional development opportunities that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What courses are available in the FRIENDS Online Learning Center?
FRIENDS currently has courses in the areas of:
•Logic Models
•Data Management
•Continuous Quality Improvement
•Protective Factors
•Maximizing Financial Resources
•Creating Effective Parent-Practitioner Partnerships: An Introduction to Parent Leadership

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Knowledge Center: 
Logic Model Development Guide (evaluation download)

Template for Strategic Communications Plan (online download)

Creating Spaces for Change (report)


Community Conversations

Google community conversations.
The concept is a way to have people from diverse groups, e.g., NGOs, government, business, community and/or other stakeholders, come together over an issue, brainstorm, form a consensus and formulate next steps.

Below is a tent for the table host of a community conversations table. It is, of course, adaptable for other occasions. Source: Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin

[Community conversations might be neither quite this fun-looking nor over a meal!]

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mentoring PR and Education

Thursday, April 4, 2013, was an exciting day in spreading the mentoring message (to the "choir" in one case!) but also in learning.

The ODSA Spring Conference

First, the men and women of the Oklahoma Division of Student Assistance were lively, engaged, passionate and friendly.  Many of the attendees mentor college and high school students and/or supervise those who do.  Some programs represented were TRiO Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Talent Search.  Second, we learned that mentoring at the college and high school levels also has obstacles such as recruiting, even when mentors are paid.  Third, being eighteen or older does not preclude the necessity for being mentored and/or volunteering to mentor!

During the Walter O. Mason TRiO Achiever Luncheon, a successful TRiO or similar program alumnus--in this case, an alumna--was honored.  Martha Morgan, PhD, was once a first-generation college student.  Now she mentors.

TRiO, a program that targets incoming students and potential (high school) students who are first-generation college students, qualify through financial need, and/or possess a documented disability.  Mentoring/tutoring can also apply to military veterans as well as adult students.   

Look online at the websites of state colleges and universities.  Also many Student Support Service departments of major universities have downloads helpful to all, e.g., time managment or public speaking tips.  [Borrow, adapt!]  At the moment, this blog writer does not have enough room to express the contributions of the people of ODSA.

Boren Mentoring Advisory Committee members Mary Alice Ahlgren and Beverly Woodrome presented as did Mary Alice's expert associate Lexi Brackett. 

"Not Just Surviving - Thriving!  Help Youth Plan for the Future" - Brackett, Thrive Coordinator, Camp Fire Green Country 

"Ask-Listen-Encourage" - Ahlgren, Program Director, Camp Fire Green Country  

"Mentoring Overview" - Woodrome, Director, Boren Mentoring Initiative

Photos: (L) Lexi Brackett, (above) Brackett and Mary Alice Ahlgren

Television Interview 

In Claremore, Sam Jones, host of Green Country Perspectives, interviewed Melynda Stone, Executive Director of Volunteers for Youth, and one of her mentors, Gus Ramirez, who through the PAL Program mentors three young men, one at Will Rogers Junior High, one at Claremore High School and one at Oologah-Talala. 

Let's have thunderous applause for Gus!  Melynda is also a member of the Boren Mentoring Advisory Committee. 

GC Perspectives with Sam Jones, will air Friday night, Saturday night, and next Wednesday afternoon.
  • Friday, April 4 at 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, April 5 at 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday April 10 at 1:00 pm
Thanking everyone who contributed to a mentoring push on Thursday is impossible, but below are a few not previously mentioned. 

Amber Mitchell, Director, TRiO Student Support Services, Rose State University
Jessica Waller, Academic Support Counselor, TRiO SSS, Rose State University
Tammy Franks, Guidance Specialist, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Jennifer Sterling, Program/Membership Manager, RSU Public TV
Dale A. McKinney, Production Manager, RSU Public TV





Types of Learners

'One short reminder article for mentors...

"How Do Children Learn?" 
by Dr. Mary Ann Smialek

This question has been a frequent subject of research for many years. Since the early 1970’s researchers have been studying individual learning styles. They agree that a variety of patterns appear in a typical classroom. Understanding your children’s learning styles can help break ineffective homework patterns that cloud your child’s learning. Inefficient homework strategies are ineffective because some children are not getting what they need to learn and fully process information that is presented to them.

Children learn in different ways. To gain a better understanding of how your child learns, consider the four broad areas of preferred learning styles. Each style exhibits very recognizable traits. Many theories have been developed regarding children’s learning styles. One of the most popular theories with educators deals with four modes of learning: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile. These modalities are based upon the use of the five senses involved with the learning process. Which sense the child prefers determines the student’s learning style.

Visual learners best remember what is seen. These children tend to remember faces instead of names, are good readers and have good imaginations. They respond best to instruction that includes reading, posters, graphs and videos. Visual learners:

·         take copious notes

·         often close their eyes to visualize and remember

·         usually neat and clean with carefully coordinated clothing

·         benefit from illustrations and visual presentations

·         are attracted to written or spoken language rich in pictorial imagery

·         seek quiet, passive surroundings ideal

Auditory learners best remember what is heard. These youngsters remember names well, respond easily to phonics instruction and may like to talk when writing. They benefit most from instruction based on lectures, discussions and questioning. Some good methods to use with auditory learners include singing songs or listening to tapes that relate to content area to be studied and developing rhymes and mnemonics to help remember information. Auditory learners:

·         remember names, tend to forget faces

·         may not coordinate clothes but can explain what they have  
          on and why hum or talk to themselves

·         enjoy listening to themselves and others

·         likes to read aloud

·         remembers best by verbalizing

·         have difficulties reading maps or diagrams

·         have little trouble learning in a noisy environment

Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing, experimenting and involvement. These learners remember what was done, not necessarily what was seen or heard, and might have difficulty paying attention and staying focused on their schoolwork or homework. Kinesthetic learners benefit most from hands-on instruction, using manipulatives, role-playing or building things. Kinesthetic learners:

·         need to move around, be active and take frequent breaks

·         speak with their hands and with gestures

·         seek out and find ways to move around

·         tinker when bored

·         rely on what they can directly experience or perform

·         enjoy manipulating materials

Tactile learners like to use their hands and fingers to learn. These children learn best by writing, drawing, doodling and tend to be creative.

They benefit from instructions such as sewing, painting or drawing. Kinesthetic learners:

·         need to touch or feel objects when learning a new concept

·         enjoys designing things

·         likes to illustrate written work

·         finds sculpting, painting and drawing relaxing

·         Appreciates physically expressed encouragement (e.g., a pat on the back)

As the learning style theory suggests, students have a predominant learning mode followed by their 2nd - 3rd and 4th preferred style. Knowing and understanding your child’s preferred learning style is useful to you when you tackle homework assignments with your children. Using this "multi-sensory" approach to learning when helping your children with their homework assignments will stimulate and enhance your children’s learning processes. It will surely increase your young one’s academic success. Using a "multi-sensory" – "multi-modal" learning style approach, you will change the pattern of failure to success and meet the needs of tour child who is academically "at-risk". Using this approach will empower you to reach your child’s learning preference even if it not always clearly defined.

Children struggle when they try to learn in ways that aren’t natural for them. When you plan a variety of demonstrations of instruction, your children can utilize their individual strengths to succeed in school. Remember there is never "one" right way or "only" way to teach and help your children with their homework. Helping your children with their homework in the future coupled with the knowledge of the various learning style preferences and the use of technology will add a new dimension to your pursuit of successfully meeting your children’s learning needs. With your creativity, knowledge and motivation you will meet the challenge.

 http://www.maryannsmialek.com/resources/articles/how_learn.html   Ret. 3-29-13

Hand on page  http://en.bestpicturesof.com/pictures%20of%20kinesthetic%20learners
Boy reading    http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/reading.html
Girl with earphones  http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/auditory-sense.html 






Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Journal Record's Corporate Mentoring Article

Investing in younger generations:
Mentoring matters, business leaders say
By Brian Brus
Oklahoma City reporter - Contact: brian.brus@journalrecord.com / 405-278-2837 / https://twitter.com/JRBrianBrus The Journal Record
Posted: 06:18 PM Friday, March 29, 2013 6:18 pm Fri, March 29, 2013
Mentor Crystal Berland helps fourth-grader Lejend Collins do her homework at Hupfeld Academy at Western Village. (Photo by Brent Fuchs)

OKLAHOMA CITY – SandRidge Energy Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Relations Greg Dewey recognizes the value of reciprocity in the phrase that begins, “It takes a village …” and even as he raises four children of his own, he believes in setting time aside each week for other children.

“We’re a community,” Dewey said. “It does take a village to raise children, particularly in cases where kids don’t have a father or don’t have another positive role model outside their parents. And I feel like it’s my responsibility.

“Because the truth is, I hope my kids – who are growing up pretty fortunate – have somebody outside of their parents who are investing in them and reinforcing good behavior,” he said.

Dewey is one of hundreds of SandRidge employees who have participated in the company’s mentorship program at local public schools. He believes that the consistent presence of a positive role model, even for just a few hours at a time, provides affirmation to a young person that he or she is important. That reinforcement drives achievement.

That’s true also at Oklahoma City Hall, which provided an opportunity last spring for executives and midlevel salaried city employees to dedicate an hour each week as reading buddies at Heronville Elementary School. The program developed from a joint task force meeting with officials from the Oklahoma City Public Schools District. That pilot program was so successful, City Council Chief of Staff Debi Martin said, that this year a second program was established at Hayes Elementary. Benchmark data will be reviewed for further confirmation, she said.

“We were able to show that the children seemed to benefit from it, that it was a positive reinforcement for the children, and that it did in fact help the teachers,” Martin said. “It’s sending a clear message to the community and the board of I-89 (school district) that the city cares and that we’re willing to demonstrate tangible efforts that we’re ready to be involved.”

Beverly Woodrome, director of the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, said the mentoring concept is even more important in a difficult economy. Not every child has two parents to split their attention at home with a job to keep the household afloat. Children are at the mercy of resources beyond their control.

Mentor programs connect those youngsters with adults who confirm that they’re caring and considerate by the very nature of volunteering. In the resulting relationship, young mentees feel comfortable talking about challenges they might not otherwise be able to share with teachers and parents.

No special background is necessary to be a good mentor, just good listening skills, compassion and consistency, she said.

A research brief published by the nonprofit Child Trends titled, “Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development,” found that youths who participate in mentoring relationships have better school attendance, a better chance of graduating to higher education, and better attitudes toward education. Mentoring also appears to help prevent substance abuse and reduce some negative youth behaviors.

In 2006, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence launched the Boren Mentoring Initiative to promote the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs statewide. The Boren Mentoring Initiative is a resource for guidelines, best practices, research, mentoring models and training, as well as a network and forum for mentoring organizations statewide. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is compiling a statewide directory of mentoring programs listed on its website at OKmentors.org.

Many mentors return to help many times. At SandRidge, for example, company spokesman Randy Decker praised Amanda Streitmatter, the company’s senior systems analyst, who was named this year’s mentor of the year by the Boren Mentoring Initiative. She is now in her second year of mentoring with Edwards Elementary. Before that she mentored at Dunbar Elementary with SandRidge’s Big Brothers Big Sisters partnership, tutored four years with Devon’s program at Mark Twain Elementary and spent two years with the pilot United Way tutoring program.

Business leaders such as Cliff Hudson, chief executive of the Sonic restaurant chain, said a responsible corporation benefits from the relationship as much as the children. The company has maintained a mentor program at Wilson Elementary for 17 years; this year more than 40 students are being tutored.

“We love the relationship with Wilson School, and in addition to the tutoring program, we’ve helped them with computers and other resources along the way … intended to improve things generally at the school,” he said.

Integris Health has a mentoring program at the Hupfeld Academy at Western Village.

“Anybody that mentors, in my experience, thinks that it’s the best hour of the week,” said Integris Family of Foundations Chairman Stanley Hupfeld, for whom the charter school is named. “The kids are so excited to see them, you sort of feel really good about what you’re doing.”


Reposted  http://www.ofe.org/news/2013-03-29.htm

Monday, April 1, 2013

Create a Superhero Activity

Self-esteem Girl
This activity is for males and females of all ages!
"One of my Girl Scout leader friends had the girls in her troop create a superhero whose superpower was their own best quality. Here is what one of the girls created.

This would be a great activity for mentees and mentors."
Brenda Wheelock
Director of Communications and Development
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence