Mentoring matches goals and activities

Mentoring matches can develop goals that direct their interactions and activities. This article explores the process of identifying activities for matches through their local mentoring program.

Michigan State University Extension states the importance of new one-on-one mentoring matches having time together to develop their relationship.  This time should be separate from other individuals.  After a relationship has been established and built, the one-on-one match may be ready to engage in small or large group activities.  Mentoring programs can develop workshops or trainings to cultivate and educate matches.  In addition to mentoring activities created within the home organization, matches may be referred to community events or workshops facilitated by other organizations.   

As matches proceed with activities, they may not know where to start.  Interests are always a good way to identify mentoring activities or workshops. Mentoring matches can benefit from nonprofit and human service organizations creating and distributing information on relevant workshops, trainings, activities and events. Some youth serving organizations compile resource lists or lists of suggested activities.  Mentors can consider visiting websites or signing up for email announcements for community activities such as Helping Services. As mentoring matches are planning their weekly or monthly interactions, they can consider setting goals together.   With short and long term goals in place, matches can identify activities (from suggested lists) that will assist them in accomplishing their goals as they build their relationship.  For example, if a match sets a goal to give back to the community, they can refer to a resource or activity list to find potential service projects in their area.  Other examples of mentoring match goals include learning a new skill or getting in shape together.  Matches can also browse local online and hard copy newspapers and magazines to identify additional mentoring match activities. 

It is important to include the youth in the decision making process around specific activities, workshops and events.  The youth must feel like they are a valued member of the match.  If the youth feels included and valued, they are more prone to look forward to and enjoy the planned outings.  Mentoring matches who center their activities on interests and goal setting will have a foundation that can be enhanced as the match progresses.

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