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Dream, Believe, Achieve. Youth Initiated Mentoring Promising Practices Sarah Schwartz, PhD, MEd Jean Rhodes, PhD Renée Spencer, EdD Karen Baetzel.

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Presentation on theme: "Dream, Believe, Achieve. Youth Initiated Mentoring Promising Practices Sarah Schwartz, PhD, MEd Jean Rhodes, PhD Renée Spencer, EdD Karen Baetzel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dream, Believe, Achieve. Youth Initiated Mentoring Promising Practices Sarah Schwartz, PhD, MEd Jean Rhodes, PhD Renée Spencer, EdD Karen Baetzel

2  Placeholder slide 6 minute intro video on NGYCP

3 NGYCP Mission The mission of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP) is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of year old high school dropouts and produce program graduates with the values, skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.

4 NGYCP Vision The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program will be recognized as America’s premier voluntary program for year-old high school dropouts, serving all 54 states and territories.

5 Program Elements  Quasi-Military  8 Core Components –Academic Excellence –Physical Fitness –Leadership/Followership –Responsible Citizenship –Job Skills –Service to Community –Health and Hygine –Life Coping Skills  Federal/State Cost Share

6 NGYCP Locations 6 Alaska Hawaii Puerto Rico Alaska NGYCP No NGYCP 2014

7 NGYCP Program Model

8  Placeholder for mentor video

9 The Value of Youth- Initiated Mentoring  Cadet buy-in  Program efficiency  Retention  Stronger, durable mentor relationships  Youth outcomes

10 Mentoring Standards 1.Post-Residential Action Plan (P-RAP) 2.Recruiting 3.Screening 4.Mentor Qualifications 5.Training 6.Matching 7.Mentor-Mentee Contact 8.Case Management

11 But does it work?

12 Youth Initiated Mentoring: INVESTIGATING A NEW APPROACH TO WORKING WITH VULNERABLE ADOLESCENTS Sarah Schwartz, PhD, MEd Jean Rhodes, PhD Renée Spencer, EdD

13 Theoretical Rationale Youth-Initiated Mentoring Builds on strengths of natural mentoring AND provides structure for relationships to develop Autonomy in selecting mentors may increase motivation and investment, esp. for adolescents Redresses shortage of volunteer mentors

14 Methods Study Participants  Quantitative (N = 1,173)  10 ChalleNGe sites across the country  Ages at baseline  88% male  41% White; 40% Black; 14% Latino, 4% Other  Qualitative (N = 30)  3 ChalleNGe sites (California, Michigan, Mississippi)  Ages at the time of the interview  90% male  63% White; 20% Latino; 7% Black; 7% Mixed Race

15 Methods  Measures  Baseline Youth and Mentor Characteristics  Demographic characteristics youth (youth self-report)  Demographic characteristics of mentors (mentor self-report from program records)  Relationship Characteristics (youth self-report)  Contact with mentors  Mentor selection method  Outcome Measures at 38 Month Follow Up (self-report)  GED/HS Diploma  College Credit  Employment  Time Idle (not in work or school)  Earnings  Convictions  Binge Drinking  Frequent Marijuana Use

16 Results Who are the mentors?  Average age: 46.7 years old  83% same race or ethnicity as their mentee  26% living in same zip code as mentee  93% working full time; 4% retired; 3% unemployed; 1% working part time  Qualitative data indicated mentors were drawn from family friends and extended family, school and afterschool staff, and religious leaders

17 Results How were the mentors chosen?  55% youth chose “mostly on their own”  37% parents helped choose  5% ChalleNGe staff helped choose  4% were chosen “some other way” (e.g., mentor asked youth)

18 Results Frequency and duration of contact  At 9 month follow-up: 76% participants reported contact with mentors  34% weekly in-person contact  47% weekly contact of any type (e.g. in-person, phone, written)  At 21 month follow up: 74% participants reported contact with mentors  27% weekly contact of any type  At 38 month follow up: 56% participants reported contact with mentors

19 Outcomes among Youth in Early Terminating Relationships (Relative to Control) with Propensity Score Matching Results

20 Outcomes among Youth in Mid-Length Relationships (Relative to Control) with Propensity Score Matching Results

21 Outcomes among Youth in Enduring Relationships (Relative to Control) with Propensity Score Matching Results

22 Descriptive Summary of 38-Month Outcomes by Match Length

23 Results What were the processes through which enduring YIM relationships influenced outcomes?

24 Results  I wanted to quit really, really badly. I even, like I told my mom that I wanted to go home, and that I was gonna get into a fight there, so I could get kicked out, an’ then, uh, I got a phone call from my mentor, and then we had like a, a really long talk about, about why I needed to stay there, and how like, what I needed to do in order to, to stay there, and…that was like the turning point that made me decide that I was gonna like keep trying when I was at the camp. Supporting Successful Completion of the Residential Phase

25 Results  It probably would, it probably would’ve been like, it would’ve been cool, like the whole program an’ everything, but not having a plan for afterwards, or someone you can go talk to, you probably would’a’ just went back to the same, you know, same stuff you were doing…It probably only would’a’ changed you for the six months you were in there, an’ then you would’a’ went right back, like afterwards. Supporting Post-Residential Phase Transition

26 Results Social-Emotional Support  “Because out of the respect I had for him, [it] helped me to respect other people…And that was a big step for me, because I went through a lot, and everybody, it felt like everybody was stabbin’ me in my back, and then he came along and he was, he was more than a mentor, he was a friend.”  “Mentoring just, like, that part taught me how to get closer to other people, like how I got closer to [my mentor], and I started also with my family back home. And that would have me acting better…”

27 Results Advice and Guidance  “When I would start to slip, my mom would call him, and he’d call me, an’ then it’d be like, ‘oh, well, I’m messing up again’ and then get back on track…so he was there, kinda, to kinda like push me in the right directions sometimes.”  “I went to a community college at first, and she wanted to make sure that I didn’t stop there, she wanted to make sure that I pursue my career, she wanted to make sure that I wasn’t gonna be pregnant or you know, on drugs, and um, I haven’t, I haven’t let her down on any of that.”

28 Results Instrumental Support  “He didn’t have to do all that, an’ he did, an’ he’s still givin’ me these leads, in, you know, in the right direction, when it comes to the jobs, an’ all that. He didn’t have to do all that, that took extra work for him, you know ”  “He was there looking out for me and making sure that I was not going to jail and stuff like that.”

29 Results What factors predict enduring relationships?  Mentor selection  Same racial or ethnic background

30 Results Most youth reported having similar backgrounds to their mentors Most youth believed similarity to be beneficial to relationship quality and duration  “We were both raised in the church, both military raised…Everything that we believed in was just about the same, so there are a lotta similarities, and I think that’s why we got along so well whenever I first moved here, and it was one of the main reasons I highly considered him to be my mentor, and that’s why he’s still my mentor till this day.”

31 Results Some youth described the benefit of having the same ethnic or racial background as their mentors  “She understood where I was comin’ from…the way we do things…It got us closer and uh, it helped us understand each other better.”  “Just to see a, a, a Black man just, in our community, that just basically came up, ‘cause ‘round here mostly don’t see too many like that...makin' money the right way.”

32 Discussion In the context of ChalleNGE: YIM relationships tend to be enduring (relative to traditional formal mentoring) Mentors chosen by youth and of the same race or ethnicity as mentees were most enduring Enduring relationships are associated with improved academic, vocational, and behavioral outcomes  But not improvements in substance use Mentors provided social-emotional support, guidance, and instrumental support  Supported completion of Residential Phase  Supported transition during Post-Residential Phase

33 Discussion Potential Benefits of YIM:  Effective with vulnerable adolescents  Fosters skills to recruit adult support  Builds social capital within communities Potential Limitations of YIM:  Challenges to identifying mentors  May be difficult to achieve consistent weekly contact  Potential negative influence of early terminations

34 Future Directions for Research Experimental study of impacts of YIM Investigate YIM in contexts outside of ChalleNGE Longitudinal qualitative data Perspectives of mentors

35 Future Directions for Practice  “Full” YIM: Train youth in how to recruit mentors; program provides screening and training; monitors relationship  Adult and youth training (group): Relationships-building workshops for youth and recruited adult to attend together  Youth training (group): Workshops training youth in how to identify, solicit, and draw on support from adults within their social networks  Formal mentoring to YIM: Formal mentor teaches youth how to identify, solicit, and draw on support from adults within their social networks as part of termination process  Choice in mentor selection: Within formal mentoring, allow youth greater autonomy in choosing mentors

36 Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom and other members of the ChalleNGe evaluation team and the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, MCJ Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.


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