Archive for November, 2009

A Note of Thanks from the Coordinator

November 23, 2009

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within.

 —-Albert Schweitzer

In this season of Thanksgiving,  I extend my sincerest gratitude to all who make our program so successful. Thank you to the mentors who give so selflessly of time and energy to truly get to know our mentees and help bring out the best in them, shining light towards brighter futures. Thank you to the young people for whom this program was developed. We learn more from you than you realize! In reaching out to you, we learn more about ourselves. In listening to your hopes and dreams, we reflect on and grow our own.

 To the community of Tehama County from whom we have received so much support in the form of time, money, creativity, volunteer hours, direction and encouragement: We couldn’t do it without you!  

While I am the “face” and voice of the Tehama County Mentoring Program, I am certainly not doing this alone! The program receives the support of a talented group of professionals in  Student Support Services  at the Tehama County Department of Education. My thanks to Talia, Dianne, Suzanne, Tina, Jo, Denise, Yuliana and our fearless leader, Amy. Thank you to our superintendents Larry and Charles for creating a positive environment to do our work.

With gratitude,     


Creating Mentoring Relationships that Last

November 12, 2009

Mentoring is effective for youth development when it is done consistently over time.  The Tehama County Mentoring Program is structured through guidance from the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, a rigorously researched handbook utilized by mentoring programs throughout the country.

Here are some suggestions from the handbook for creating lasting, effective mentoring relationships:

_DAN0323gIRLS• Maintain a steady presence in the mentee’s life. That means showing up for scheduled meetings or, when that is not possible, telling the mentee inadvance, in order to avoid any disappointment. A phone call, e-mail or fax can help when a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible.

• Focus on the mentee’s needs––not the mentor’s own wants and needs. Mentors should look to improve the mentee’s prospects while respecting the young person’s life circumstances and perspective. This includes not trying to transform the mentee or impose the mentor’s own values on the mentee.

• Pay attention to the mentee’s need for fun.   _DAN0181 mitch

• Get to know the mentee’s family without getting over involved. Mentors need to understand that they are not substitutes for parents.

• Seek out and use the help and support of mentoring program staff.

By contrast, less effective mentors:

• Do not meet regularly with the mentee;

• Adopt an authoritative tone;

• Put more emphasis on changing the mentee’s behavior than on developing a warm relationship based on trust and respect; and

• Try to transform the mentee by imposing a set of values inconsistent with the mentee’s life circumstances.