How does the Young Warriors group mentoring program work?
- Participants are recruited as the program establishes strong relationships with schools, coaches, social workers and other professionals
- Mentors are recruited from the community; they are thoroughly screened and trained using mentoring “best practices” and proven successful methods.
- Approximately 24 mentees are assigned to the same group or “tribe”
- Mentees are matched to a tribe based on their ages and development level—the age differential of group members is typically no more than 3 years
- Each tribe is divided into four smaller groups, with 5 boys, 1 high school youth mentor and 1 adult mentor; small group membership is consistent so that trusting relationships can be established
- Each tribe meets 30 times per year for approximately 3-4 hours per meeting
- 10 sessions take place at the same facility; mentees participate in a curriculum that promotes leadership, strength finding and reflection
- 10 sessions consist of field trips, where mentees will practice what they learned out in the real world
- Every other Friday will be “Father-Figure Fun Night!”
- The end of each mentoring cycle will focus on giving back through planning and completing a community service project
- The end of the year celebration ceremony acknowledges each mentee’s growth, and it is also pointed out that they are at the end of a cycle and ready to move onto the “next level”—those approaching 18 will be acknowledged as now becoming men in our society
Every other week Young Warriors will have “Father-Figure Fun Night!” Open to all mentees and mentors. During this time, the focus will move away from learning and self-development to “just having fun.” Mentors and mentees will engage in games, play laser tag, watch movies together, and various activities that lead to both fun and bonding.
Along with helping young boys to become men, Young Warriors provides much needed guidance to parents and guardians through our 10-week single-parent workshop and followed by ongoing support groups. Parenting experts will deliver these classes in a non-threatening and informative way. Parents will be supported and equipped with tools and strategies that will help them to meet the needs of the boys in their care.
The mentors and staff at Young Warriors are dedicated to helping the positive growth and development of youth who, even at this early stage in their lives, have experienced more than their share of disappointments. These young men will reap great benefits from the connections they make through trusting relationships, from the lessons learned during group mentoring, and from the fun learning they have as they engage in field trips. As a result, these boys will move into the world as more stable and balanced young men. These simple but strong relationships will support the boys as they move on to healthy, happy, and productive lives.
Key Benefits for Group Mentoring
- Reduces Risk Factors: The risk factors in site-based group mentoring programs are greatly reduced since all mentoring is done in the presence of staff. This means that the staff will not have to worry about mentors driving their mentees or matches being alone together in the community. Furthermore, our group-mentoring program does not allow mentors and mentees to be together alone outside of the mentoring sessions, thus creating a safer program.
- Lessens Chances of “Mentee Letdown:” If a mentor misses a session, other mentors can step in and run the group. This can reduce the feelings of loss and betrayal that mentees may feel when their mentor misses a meeting.
- Uses the Power of Peer Relationships: Mentors facilitating group sessions can use peer-to-peer relationships to empower mentees and influence them in positive ways. Group mentoring also helps young people build camaraderie and social skills.
Benefits for boys
- Increased trust in adult males
- Increased positive relationships with peers
- Increased self-esteem and belief in abilities
- Learned skill-sets and life-skills
- Increased understanding of career and education opportunities
- Improved physical and emotional health
- Increased resiliency
- Decreased risk behavior (i.e. physical confrontation, drug use and gang involvement)
Benefits for Parents
- Strengthen families
- Increased parental involvement and support
- Increased parental knowledge
- Increased support system
Mentoring has also proven to be an effective means of combating a range of complex issues:
- 98% of youth mentored stay in school
- 98% of youth mentored did not become a teen parent
- 98% of youth mentored avoided gang participation
- 85% of youth mentored did not use drugs
*Based on study conducted by the California Mentoring Foundation