Measure the Value of Youth Mentoring
What was the reason a youth mentoring program was start? The answer to the question will offer the means to develop observable and measurable assessment of the value of the program, but many benefits may always remain elusive.
Planning at the Beginning
You must define how you will view success. If it is that youth graduate from high school or enter college. It would be easy to measure this item. Alternatively, it could be that you start the mentoring program to prevent youth from entering the criminal justice system. In this case, you might need to place a long period. You might look at statistics to determine when the most likely end point for initial entrance to the criminal justice system. With this information beginning planning can occur.
When starting a youth mentoring program write measurable and observable goals and objectives. Keep data on these goals and objectives. It might take a while to determine success in some goals, but the data will assist in keeping funding and volunteer recruiting on going.
On Going Documentation
Once you begin the program and begin the measurable data, you must be open to the unexpected. We all believe that mentoring offers assistance to the youth, but we must be open to the benefits to the mentors. A woman shared how her father’s mentoring helped her father when his wife was ill. A young man repaid the mentoring by assisting his mentor with his influence with a treatment plan. These are harder to uncover but with
With planning, you can gain the documentation and provide for reinforcement of mentors. Once the mentoring task ends and the youth and mentor move on with their life, the program needs to find means for the group to keep in contact. A yearly reunion event might offer such an opportunity. If you are keeping good data for the measurable goals and objectives, you should have addresses for this event.
Ongoing Recruiting through Success
When a successful mentoring program accomplishes it goals there can be another very valuable byproducts, new mentors. Youth, who valued their mentoring, might choose to mentor another generation. Imagine the success of a program with mentors coming from the programs successes. The reunion might actually develop an opportunity for a multiple generation photograph. This would offer an opportunity for newspaper promotion and a much-earned recognition of a mentor. The realization that a short period of action can make a difference well beyond the initial commitment, can offer the push to action community member might need.
The documentation of success of mentoring program prepares for the future of the program and provide for the appreciation and recruiting of mentors. The answer may be elusive but with planning, we can uncover and support the mentoring.