MENTOR MINUTE


  • The Mentoring Journey Continues
  • How Volunteering and Charitable Giving                               Benefit both Young and Old
  • Calendar
   
 
The Mentoring Journey Continues

We are all familiar with the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Life is a journey, not a destination."  The same wisdom applies to mentoring, as it is a process of building a meaningful relationship with a child over time.  Appreciating the mentoring journey means being open to wherever the road may lead. 

Your companion on this important journey is your mentee, who brings his/her own unique story, experiences and feelings to the relationship.  Seedling volunteers know that mentoring a child requires on-going skill building, support from their Mentor Director, and time with their fellow mentors to reflect on the experience.  Last month's training provided this and more, as participants were introduced to mentoring as a journey. 

While your mentee may not have shared his/her story yet, other children of the incarcerated have, revealing trauma, confusion and pain.  

In the 10-minute video Echoes of Incarceration, young people discuss their personal experience of having a parent in prison. View online HERE.

The brave individuals in this video who speak so honestly about their feelings were once young students like your mentee and may have lacked the confidence or the words to share their story.  Or maybe your mentee has shared his/her story and you have listened and validated them, giving support and being a friend.  

Like any journey worth traveling, the mentor/mentee relationship moves in stages.  It can have adventure, or take twists and turns that sometimes lead you back to the beginning, and all of this is part of it.  Seedling identifies our mentor/mentee stages as
  • Starting out together
  • Detours
  • Scenic byways
  • End of the road
For further description of the stages along with communication tips, click  HERE .

Take a moment to reflect on where you and your mentee are in this process, keeping in mind that the experience is rarely ordinary, as there are two of you.  Consider how your mentee's feelings about his/her incarcerated parent affect the journey.  How about your feelings?
 
Our October Mentor Training will offer helpful tools and the latest research on how to enhance your mentee's emotional vocabulary and strengthen communication skills.  Mark your calendars for October 29th, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.,  and watch for the invitation in your email. 
 
 

" If there's a magic pill for happiness and longevity, we may have found it. Countless studies have found that generosity, both volunteering and charitable donations, benefits young and old physically and psychologically." That's what Terri Yablonsky Stat wrote recently in the Chicago Tribune.

In an entertaining compilation of research findings and quotes from experts, she describes the thought-provoking list below.  The full article may be found
HERE.
  • Volunteering and charitable giving make people happier, even if they are only following instructions.  Mentally, we take the credit and reap the health reward.
  • The key is to give deliberately and thoughtfully, so that other people benefit from it.
  • An online national survey of 4,500 American adults (the 2010 United Healthcare/Volunteer Match Do Good Live Well Study) found that people who volunteer have less trouble sleeping, less anxiety, less helplessness and hopelessness, better friendships and social networks, and a sense of control over chronic conditions.
  • The benefits may extend to management of chronic pain, reduction of cognitive decline, lower blood pressure, better stress management, and less cardiovascular risk.
  • The health benefits of giving apply to younger people, too. A recent study of 10th-graders at a Vancouver high school found that students who spent an hour a week helping children in after-school programs over 10 weeks had lower levels of inflammation and cholesterol, plus a lower body-mass index.
There is even a suggestion that doctors may begin to prescribe volunteering or thoughtful charitable giving!   


   
  

October 9 - Early Release (Elementary/Middle School)
Manor ISD
 
October 12 - Student Holiday
Austin ISD, Del Valle ISD, Elgin ISD, Hays CISD, Manor ISD,           Pflugerville ISD, Round Rock ISD

October 23 - Formula 1 Day Holiday
Del Valle ISD

October 28 - Early Release (Elementary/Middle School)
Del Valle ISD, Pflugerville ISD, Round Rock ISD

October 29 - Monthly Lunchtime Training
Location: Communities In Schools building


Seedling Foundation | 512-323-6371 | www.seedlingfoundation.org