24. Sailing along and a new program begins

This has been a busy week.

The mentors and mentees met up again and all is going well with the program. Sometimes it is good to be reminded that these are moody adolescents, very normal …….. one mentor battled this week as his mentee was in one of those moods. The key is not to take it personally. Another mentor was tearing her hair out in frustration at the laid back attitude of her mentee, but she held it all together and knows that things must happen at the pace of the mentee. We chatted a little about this during the debrief and ideas were shared. I continue to encourage the mentors to promote the email component of the program, but a couple of relationships are hindered by mentees not having access to email from home. How much we take this for granted in the 21st Century! The mentees seem reluctant to go and use the school library computers to email their mentors and to check messages, probably because the peer pressure impact kicks in again. I encourage the mentors to keep going. There are a couple of other issues going on and it is great to see how the mentoring partnership could assist resolve some of these matters. As one mentor is beginning to discover, as she is at the school consistently week in and week out, the connection with her mentee, who might lack that consistent support and encouragement at home, is strengthening and he is even initiating some of the conversations!!! A number of mentees have asked their mentors to assist with Resume writing, a topic that is covered in our Student Manual.

Monday night was the first night of training for our second program which we are launching this year in Penrith. As mentioned elsewhere, the recruiting process has been difficult and I have just not had the available hours to do a more effective job. However, I am beginning to find that the churches are SLOWLY getting on board, highlighted by the active participation of a Pastor in this latest program. He is doing the training and will mentor a student and I am hoping that his involvement will result in more of his congregation becoming involved as the program grows in that area. So, wonderful to greet 13 new potential mentors at the training, which included 4 men. I hope all return for the second week – that’s always the interesting moment!

Next Tuesday night I begin the training of the third group of mentors as we prepare to run our third program in the Hawkesbury area. Despite considerable community newspaper support, we have not been able to recruit the numbers we would like, but have decided to go ahead with the 7 or 8 mentors who have indicated their availability. It would be lovely to have a miracle and see another 4 or 5 arrive!!

Busy times, indeed …… 🙂