May 2018
Service Spotlight
This month, members of VMP staff and VISTA team spent two days attending the 2018 Virginia Volunteerism and Service ConferencePresented by the Virginia Office on Volunteerism and Community Services and the Virginia Service Foundation, this highly-interactive two-day conference featured instructional workshops, networking events and opportunities for service. Members of the VMP team learned about an array of topics, including: volunteer management, using personal power to make an impact, hosting successful outreach events, team communication styles, and strengthening volunteer relationships through storytelling. 

VMP encourages our VISTA team to engage with professional development opportunities throughout their service to build skills, participate in service projects, and establish networks and lasting connections within their communities. These opportunities equip them with valuable tools to apply during their VISTA service and beyond!
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month

Mentoring relationships are powerful for all young people, particularly those seeking connection. For youth in the foster care system, the presence of a supportive mentor has great potential to establish stability and widen a young person's network of support. Click here to read MENTOR's research review of effective practices within programs working with youth in foster care. Click here to read MANY's blog series highlighting the many ways that mentoring can support youth who have been impacted by the foster care system.

In celebration of this month, VMP would like to highlight the work of program partner Empty Chair Mentoring Program. The program connects teens in residential care, foster care, or independent living with supportive volunteers in order to ease transition to adulthood with permanent relationships. Program Coordinator Michelle Warren recalls some inspiring stories of connection between volunteers and mentees:

"Many teens that have been in foster care do not have any positive family members in their lives. One girl we had been working with for about a year had aged out of foster care and was living in an apartment independently when it was time for her to graduate high school. Four of our mentors came to her graduation [picture above]. We have maintained a relationship with her and still talk to her weekly, she is older now, and we are planning a baby shower for her in the Fall!"

Empty Chair Mentoring Program is currently receiving VMP's technical assistance consulting services through the National Mentoring Resource Center. Michelle shares, "The TA experience has been very helpful with access to resources, learning about best practices, and sharing knowledge from how other similar programs work." The VMP team is proud to provide support to grow the impact of EC's meaningful work!

Upcoming Events
June 5th and July 10th, 5:30-8pm - New Mentor Training Session - Register Here
Participants will gain a solid understanding of: a mentor’s role, relationship-building techniques, stages of relationship development, reporting requirements, communication, setting boundaries, and the positive youth development framework. We welcome current mentors, program staff, and anyone interested in improving their mentoring or youth development skills.
What's Happening Around the State

VMP is a proud partner of Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time (VPOST) , a statewide public-private partnership dedicated to developing and expanding supports and services to school-age youth across the Commonwealth of Virginia during the out-of-school time hours.

VPOST recently launched The Virginia Out-of-School Time Resource Exchange , a free website for OST providers to browse to find valuable information, tools, templates, lesson plans, and administrative documents for afterschool and summer learning programming. VMP partnered in this effort to provide mentoring-specific resources to be accessed by OST providers across the Commonwealth, further expanding our state-wide reach . Click here to check out the Resource Exchange's mentoring section.
Save the Date - Celebrate 25 Years of VMP

Join VMP on November 8th at 6:00pm for a cocktail event as we celebrate  25 years of supporting mentoring relationships!

Hofheimer Building
2818 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23230

More details to come. We hope to see you there!