43. New Programs launched and new training begins

Well, we finally have our three programs up and running! Earlier this week the mentors sat with their mentees while the latter completed the Student Performer, the on-line tool we use at the beginning and end of the mentoring journey to track the personal development of the mentees. The mentors also complete their own on-line Profiler after the training and at the end of the mentoring journey.

Most mentors said they found it really valuable observing this process and learnt heaps about their mentees. Some had computer glitches, so they still have to complete the Performer. Their mentors were so impressive though. They pulled out the Student Manual and sat doing some of the ‘getting to know u’ activities and had a great time. I went through the completed Performers and did a quick analysis of each, which I fed back to the respective mentors to add to their own perspectives. As I commented to quite a few mentors, their mentees have entered the mentoring journey at such a good time. Some of these students look as though they are about to take off (in a positive way), but have social issues, inconsistent approaches to their academic studies, management of time and prioritising shortfalls. With the assistance of their mentors, they have a really good chance of plugging these gaps before the challenge becomes ‘too hard’. Other mentors will have considerably more work to do to encourage their mentees simply to start believing in themselves.

Sadly, it looks as though one of the students who was supposed to join the program has disengaged from school. Lots of personal issues. As I said to the School Coordinator, we were probably one month too late for this young person. If she had been locked into the program a month ago, I reckon she would have had a better chance of reaching her potential. Now I wait to see if she has actually left school. If not, I have offered to spend a few sessions with her, while the mentors are mentoring their mentees, doing some of the activities in the Student Manual – the best option I can offer.

Last night was the second evening of the new training program, attended by 12 mentors. One mentor had withdrawn, as he felt he was overcommitting himself and indicated he would reconsider joining in 2009. The training seemed to go well and it’s so good to experience the positive buzz around the training area, even better knowing that we have an almost 50% male/female ratio of mentors – progress!!!! 🙂