As a mentor, the lion’s share of the effort for cultivating a deep, trusting relationship with a young man falls on you. Mentors should not expect to be “met in the middle” but will continually have to reach out and express interest, openness and support of these young men to build a friendship.
Journeymen’s mentors commit to upholding Journeymen’s core values—Accountability; Responsibility; Integrity; Resiliency; Self-Awareness; Authenticity; Compassion/Empathy—within a mentoring approach encapsulated in the acronym LAMB: Listen, Accept, Model and Bless. So, though we have guiding values and we seek to cultivate in ourselves and develop in the mentees, Journeymen mentors accomplish by establishing trust through listening and accepting the young men for who they are and where they are at. Likewise, we strive to challenge them to reach new levels in their integrity by reaching new levels in our own and modeling that for them. Finally, we embolden and encourage them by seeing and blessing them for their strengths, unique talents, efforts and personal growth.
Commitment is the most important and core aspects to a successful mentoring relationship. Simply by showing up in a non-judgmental way, over and over and over again, mentors demonstrate to young men that they are reliable, that they care, that this relationship is, indeed, important to them and that they can be trusted. Mentors in the community program commit to a minimum of 5 hours per month for the duration of a year. Mentors in the school program commit to one hour per week, for the duration of the school year. Mentors in the after-school Crafting Passages program commit to 2 hours each week for a ten-week session in the fall or spring semester.
As a mentor, you’ll have myriad opportunities and formats for engagement. Journeymen’s program is comprised of three primary components:
Journeymen’s program offers a group mentoring model, wherein we hold ongoing weekly group mentoring meetings called “In-Groups” each month. These groups are the core of Journeymen’s program. Attended by both mentors and mentees (or “Journeymen as we call them), in-Group meetings are structured opportunities to bond, have fun, share openly about our lives and explore what it means to be an empowered, conscious and conscientious man.
Participants learn about accountability, integrity, personal responsibility, honest communication, emotional literacy, and the importance of discovering and articulating a sense of personal mission in the world.
These are spaces in which J-Men are encouraged to talk about the events, emotions, and experiences of their lives. It is where they get to practice being fully alive and communicative among men and peers, and where mentors are challenged to model honesty, courage and authenticity.
Each month, Journeymen organized weekend outings, which we call “Out-Groups.” Out-Groups include outdoor recreation, sports days, service learning, skills-building workshops and field trips. The foundation of this program component is to provide opportunities to continue deepening the bonds of trust between J-Men and mentors, while exposing the J-men to new ways they can engage with their communities and to reintroduce the boys to the wonder of the outdoors, while reinforcing our regular team building initiatives.
Rites Of Passage
We are not formally structured to create one-on-one pairings between J-Men and mentors, primarily because we have developed our program around group mentoring, which provides an opportunity for the J-Men to learn from multiple men and integrate the best and most relevant parts that they can from each mentor.
All mentors have been subjected to state and national criminal background checks and an extensive in-take and assessment process.
Spring 2020 ROPAW
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Parenting relationships are different, as parents many times need to maintain a position of authority over children and adolescents. While this is necessary, and even a responsible thing for a parent to do while their boys are growing and maturing, it also means that many times boys will not readily open up to their mothers and fathers.
Being a mentor can be incredibly rewarding, and many times challenging, as it requires the mentor to strive to be the very best version of himself, and completely accept and honor the mentee no matter the challenges they face. Men and boys in community with one another is also nourishing to the soul.
- Be at least 19 years old
- Be interested in working with young people
- Be willing to adhere to all program policies and procedures
- Be willing to complete the application and screening process
- Be willing to submit to a background check
- Be dependable and consistent in meeting the time commitments
- Attend mentor training sessions as offered
- Be willing to communicate regularly with program staff and take constructive feedback regarding mentoring activities
- No use of illicit drugs
- No use of alcohol or controlled substances in an inappropriate manner
- Not currently in treatment for substance abuse
That said … we hold monthly men’s mentor meetings, which are vital opportunities for us to explore where we need to strengthen our mentoring skills and provide mutual support.
Our training process is designed to:
- Assist mentors to develop better listening and empathy skills
- Bring awareness to issues from adolescence that may be continuing to affecting our lives as men
- Create a bond among the mentors so we can support each other in being the best mentors we can be
- Convey the roles and responsibilities that we have as mentors in the lives of these young men
- Make a one-year commitment
- Contribute a minimum of four hours per month
- Attend one to two In-Group mentoring meetings per month
- Attend the monthly men’s mentor meetings
- Serve as a positive role model and friend
- Attend training session and additional workshops as the opportunity arises
We serve as a group to provide each other with mutual support, understanding and guidance in our effort to mentor the boys of Journeymen in such a way that helps them to become young men of integrity. We come willing to be open and honest, to share our hopes and fears, insights and shadows, to be present, to share with our hearts, and be willing to give and to receive. We come to respect ourselves and our fellow Mentors.