February 19, 2009

Does Mentoring Work in Indian Country?

Three years ago, the Boys and Girls Clubs in six area Native American Communities joined together to accept a federally funded grant. One of the directors took the money, and built a very successful mentoring program that today is 120 members strong. This initiative offers us a creative model about what can be built by motivated participants with a little money.

Over the last three years, the mentoring program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Three Affiliated Tribes has matched more than sixty kids with mentors. As their experience and mentoring research in general continues to teach us, when kids are connected with mentors who offer a consistent and supportive presence in their lives, mentee’s attitudes, self-esteem, peer relationships, their desire to stay in school, and their grades almost always improve.

In the video clip at this link (http://mefeedia.com/entry/mentoring-class-makes-movie-in-new-town/9166919/), you'll hear from Lynette Dixon, Mentor Coordinator of the New Town Boys and Girls Club, and Dr. Susan Weinberger, president of the Connecticut-based Mentor Consulting Group. Dr. Weinberger traveled to New Town to see first hand what the mentors in that club are doing and to record their experience on film.

What Dr. Weinberger discovered is that in Indian country, like everywhere else on the planet, mentoring really does make a huge difference in a young person’s life . . . and in the lives of the mentors.

To learn more about the mentoring program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Three Affiliated Tribes, check out their website.

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