The NPSEC Mentoring ProgrammeInauguration – September 2005

“Buster” is dedicated to helping honest, sincere, caring, trustworthy and responsible adults to help kids and youth today for their future tomorrow!"


Buster is an equal opportunity/affirmative action organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. This policy is applicable to employment, volunteerism and student, at-risk youth, mentee admissions, mentors, staff, and to all social, educational and recreational activities.


It is the aim of Buster through on-going Programme Evaluations, planning and the selection of quality, experienced volunteers, mentors and staff, to provide students, at-risk youths and mentees with meaningful learning and life skill development and experience. Buster’s Board of Authority realises, however, that on occasions, the expectations of the students, at-risk youths and mentees, as well as, the expectations of the volunteers, mentors and staff, will not match. Should this occur, the designated Programme Directories to be informed. It is only through feedback and the on-going Programme Evaluation process that Buster will be able to make changes and adjustments for future program activity.

Buster does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities.

Buster makes no claim that program participation generates automatic gain or benefit. Regular and consistent attendance, application, development and study contribute to specific goals.


Buster does not discriminate on the basis of handicap. A Programme Director should be designated to coordinate these efforts in order to comply with the Acts and implementing regulations. Inquiries should be directed to a designated Buster Disability Coordinator.


The policy of Buster is to provide an education, employment and business environment free of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, as defined and otherwise prohibited by Federal and State laws.


The Buster Programme has made every reasonable effort to determine that everything stated in The Buster Reference Manual* is accurate. Workshops, training sessions and programmes offered, together with other matters contained herein, are subject to change without notice by the Board of Authority of Buster for reasons related to student, at-risk youth, mentee, volunteer, mentor, staff participation, level of financial support, or for any other reason, at the discretion of the Board of Authority. Buster further reserves the right to add, amend, or repeal any of their rules, regulations, policies and procedures, with the exception of those rules and regulations as prescribed by Federal and State laws and statutes.


The Mentoring At-Risk Students (MARS) and At-Risk Tutoring (ART) Programs are designed to provide in-kind services to low income youth ages 7-17. As a year round after school and weekend program, participants are given the opportunity to explore and experience, learning and practicing new skills in well structured workshops.

Mentoring services are provided on either a one-to-one or team mentoring basis, for the purpose of facilitating the at-risk students' social, personal and educational growth in order for them to become productive, contributing members of their respective communities and to society as a whole.

Tutoring is provided for each student in their particular area of curriculum need (i.e., critical thinking, problem solving, research skills, technology, team building, communication, and "other" skills generic to school and the work place, etc.).
Similar programmes in the US and Europe allude to improving school attendance by 25%, academic performance and grades by 59%, reducing disciplinary referrals by 66% (e.g., detentions, suspensions - on and off campus, as well as expulsions), and reducing the overall dropout rate by 50%.

All of the MARS and ART Program objectives are attainable and measurable, the resultants thereof which are used to evaluate the program's overall effectiveness.
It is anticipated that 85% of all participants beginning and completing the MARS or ART Programmes, will supplement their progress by having access to and utilizing the INTERNET.


"Cultural awareness and understanding leads to cultural knowledge and respect for all people."
1. KNOW YOUR own prejudices and learn how to control them.
2. LEARN TO respect, value and appreciate the culture of others by reading, asking questions, listening and observing.
3. BE OPEN, honest, frank and pro-active about bias where it exists.
4. DO NOT ASSUME doing things your way is the best and only way.
5. SHARE ALL THE RULES - written and unwritten - that will enable all girls and boys, women and men to succeed.
6. BE INCLUSIVE by introducing new girls and boys, women and men, to other classmates, employees or team members making sure they are part of informal gatherings, social and recreational activities.
7. RETHINK WHO is selected for special assignments, training, awards and promotions by not only involving members of a particular race, ethnicity or culture which could be construed as an attempt not to develop others.
8. EXAMINE HOW people or color are portrayed in the news, movies, books, television shows or stories other than those involving racial issues and determine whether or not such works are based on fact, fiction or myths.
9. LOOK FOR patterns that may appear to suggest discrimination by policies of the people that enforce them.
10. TRUST YOUR instincts, not all behavior is based on race, ethnicity or culture.



Attempts to arrive at a firm definition of "mentoring" are apt to leave one more than mildly confused. The reason for this is clear. Mentoring relationships are many things, more notable for their differences than for their commonalities. They are unique alliances, shaped by a particular mentor's talents and resources, and by a youth's equally unique needs.

Mentoring is a particular kind of relationship in which a person with identified abilities or competencies enables another human being to develop his/her own abilities and talents

Mentoring is a close personal relationship, a process of working together to achieve agreed upon goals

Mentoring is also a mutual relationship, with mentors and mentees deriving satisfaction from their alliance

Buster has chosen to view mentoring as:

A supportive one-to-one or Team Mentoring Concept (TMC) relationship between an adult(s) and student(s) or at-risk youth developed to facilitate the student's educational, social and personal growth in order for them to become responsible, productive and contributing members of their respective communities and society as a whole.


Mentors advise, coach, counsel, teach and model successful behaviours. These roles vary depending on the abilities of the mentor and the needs of the mentee.
A mentor may help the mentee to:

Translate his/her life experiences into learning opportunities

Improve academic skills by helping with school projects, or encouraging the mentee to discover and use the resources of the library or computer.

Explore the world of employment, and may act as a coach in the planning and entry into a possible career. Mentors introduce mentees to the realities of the work place, introducing them to work settings, appropriate work habits and attitudes

Apply what he/she is learning in school to everyday life

Broaden his/her knowledge by providing opportunities to explore new situations and new places or cultures

Identify with the community-at-large and learn to be of service of others


Naturally, there is no single profile of who can or should be a mentor. A mentor can influence a young person's personal and academic identities in profound ways.
The mentor may serve in many roles: as model, sponsor, advisor, teacher or counselor. Mentors provide the nurturing and guidance, challenge and inspiration which are so needed, yet lacking in the lives of many students in our public schools today.

Mentors can also be described as follows:

The mentor must be able to understand and empathize with the mentee.
Mentors must be comfortable with themselves and with who they are. They must be able to step away from themselves and their own concerns.
Mentors must be able to see the mentee as a separate person with different needs and goals, and must be comfortable with those differences.
Mentors tend to be people who extend themselves for others.
Mentors should be honest, committed and respecting of their mentees, and willing to share themselves. It is trust, respect, support and encouragement that are the hallmarks of a good mentoring relationship.
Mentors set standards of performance, usually high ones, and give the mentee the assistance and self-confidence to reach them.


Adults interested in becoming mentors in Buster are asked to complete several mentor intake forms which seek to identify interests and special skills. All mentors are interviewed utilizing a life-style inventory, and problem-solving vignettes which help screen out persons with unacceptable child rearing practices.
Mentors are then matched with mentees according to their mutual interests and the needs of the mentees.

Orientation to Buster and the needs of the mentees are conducted for groups of mentors, prior to their first contact with their mentee. On-going assistance with activity planning and problem-solving are provided to the mentors.
Police record checks are made prior to any prospective mentor being allowed to participate in Buster.

All Buster volunteer mentors must be responsible adults expressing the desire to extend their services in a helping capacity with youth. While professional experience in dealing with youth (e.g., teachers, human service workers, etc.) may be helpful, it is not required or expected to be representative of the majority of prospective mentors.

It is expected that volunteers will reflect the sampling of all socio-economic levels, ages, races, ethnicities, cultures, and professional/personal backgrounds. The only anticipated commonality among volunteers will be the sincere desire to responsibly contribute time to enrich the lives of youth.

Given the broad personal and professional characteristics of volunteers as described above, the process of recruitment entails determining the following:

Where potential mentors live
Where they work
Where they shop
Where they recreate
Where they worship
To what clubs they belong

A further narrowing process to reach potential mentors is based on the following:

What newspapers and/or magazines they read
What radio stations/TV stations they listen to
At what hours
To whom, regarding media images, they best relate to

Screening and selection of mentors is one of the most sensitive and important activities performed by Buster. As a result of the involvement of children in the program and the responsibility this places upon the adults, reasonable and prudent steps are taken to ensure that mentors are responsible persons.
At the same time the processes of screening and selection are not so rigorous that good candidates are "turned off" by questions deemed offensive or insulting.

The mentor screening and selection process includes the following steps:

The application
The interview
Reference checks
Police record checks (e.g., child abuse, drug addiction, etc.)

Experiences of successful mentoring programs has demonstrated that some variation of the above process is utilized to avoid many problems later.

An application provides a summary of a potential mentor's life and work experience, education, skills and interests. The Buster application for prospective mentors include questions regarding:

Employment history
Volunteer experience
Resumes can be used to supplement the information in the application. A review of the application is conducted - and references checked - to explore:

Unexplained gaps between jobs
Long lists of short-term jobs
After the application has been reviewed and any discrepancies explained, the prospective mentor is then scheduled for an interview.

The interview provides an opportunity for a Buster Recruitment Coordinator to speak with and observe potential mentors. It is also an opportunity for them to ask questions and voice any concerns they might have. Refer to the Prospective Mentor Interview Form for detailed questions. At the end of the interview, any questions raised by the prospective mentor will be addressed. The process for making a selection decision is also then discussed.
The prospective mentor will be informed as to how and when the Recruitment Coordinator will inform him/her of the final decision.

1. Why are you interested in becoming a mentor?
2. How did you hear/learn about mentoring?
3. What other volunteer experience have you had?
4. What should an ideal mentor/mentee relationship include?
5. What do you feel is the most important aspect of a mentoring relationship?
6. What do you see yourself doing in five years from now?
7. What time commitment could you give to the mentoring program?
8. What preferences do you have for a mentee (gender, race, interests, etc.)?
9. What would you hope to accomplish?
10. What is the most important advice you could share with the mentee?
11. What would be your expectations for your mentee?
12. What is the greatest challenge facing youth today?
13. What current involvement do you have with young people?

It will be taken into account (in evaluating interview results) that some individuals may feel nervous or intimidated in a one-to-one interview. This is directly helpful in matching a potential mentor with a mentee by observing the potential mentor in a workshop or group activity with young people.

All references will be checked by phone of mail. Clear, concise documentation is important to ensure the success of Buster.
The purpose of checking references:

To verify current employment and personal references and potential mentors are encouraged not to exaggerate his/her resume to create a good impression.
Factors considered in a reference check:

Emotional maturity
Job stability
Quality of family relationships

References must have known the individual for at least one (1) year. One (1) of three (3) references must be the potential mentor's current employer (or supervisor).

Other references may include friends, next-door neighbors, teachers, fellow employees, or clergy, etc. Relatives are not acceptable as references.
If it appears that the candidate would be a good mentor, a letter will be sent inviting him/her to an orientation session or mentoring workshop. The future mentor will be provided with the name and telephone number to contact for scheduling and assignment.

If there are problems or concerns about the individual's ability to serve as a mentor, it may be tactfully suggested that he/she participate in an alternative activity such as coaching or refereeing. All responses from references will be kept in the strictest confidence.

No statement of reason or information regarding the denial of a potential mentor will be given as to why the Buster Mentoring Program considers a person unsuitable for the mentoring program.

In some instances, a potential mentor's file will be placed on hold for a time not to exceed six (6) months. Reasons for this type of action may be due to the potential mentor being totally new to the community, or recently having gone through a significant personal change (e.g., divorce, forced change in employment, or recovery from a serious illness, etc.). Alternative involvement in other community group activities may also be recommended.

Mentoring isn't for everyone, but just about everyone has something to offer the Club.

Orientation to Buster is essential and required for all mentors participating in the program. It provides the opportunity to delve into the "nuts and bolts" of the program.

I Introductions:

Recruitment Coordinator
Special Guests
New Mentors
II Goals of Buster
III Role of the Mentor
IV The Mentee:
General background/profile
Selection Criteria
Special needs
Parental involvement
Issues concerning today's youth
V Mentoring Safety Net
VI The Matching Process
VII The Mentor-Mentee Relationship
Initial Meeting
Weekly Meeting
Phone Contact
VIII On-Going Training
IX Special Issues/Requirements

The orientation program is designed to assist mentors in getting to know the program, the program coordinator and other mentors. It provides mentors with a sense of their role and importance to the program, and builds as esprit de corps between the volunteers.

In additional to building enthusiasm, the orientation will also help the mentors understand:
What they can contribute as mentors
What mentoring has to offer them
What to expect during the mentor-mentee relationship
How to improve their mentoring skills

The orientation will provide structure for the relationship, as well as flexibility needed for each unique relationship. It will provide an excellent opportunity to clarify the relationship.

The mentor must make a six (6) month to one (1) year commitment and having a minimum of four (4) hours and maximum of eight (8) hours per month mentor-mentee contact.. This will enable the mentee and mentor to feel comfortable committing the time and energy and trust necessary to make the relationship successful.
A key element to success is trust and consistency. This is the foundation on which to build the necessary rapport to reinforce the mentor as a point of stability in the mentee's life.

Although mentors are not paid, they need to be rewarded in a different form, often referred to as "mentor motivators." The following list identifies ways in which participating mentors will be rewarded:

By providing personal attention to mentors (e.g., discussions and following-up things concerning the mentor's life such as his/her work, school, family, vacation, etc.)
By providing recognition to mentors utilizing a newsletter with stories on mentor/mentee accomplishments, a bulletin board for posting achievements awards luncheons during Volunteer Week in April
By providing a pleasant environment for the program to take place
By stressing the benefits the program provides to mentees and society
By providing mentors with a sense of empowerment, (e.g., soliciting feedback from mentors on the program encouraging suggestions for the mentoring program asking for mentor input before certain program decisions are made providing mentors with special projects and training opportunities).

Few things can be more frustrating than to have spent time, effort and resources to recruit and train someone only to have them quit the program after a few days or weeks. Failing to retain mentors also impacts negatively upon the mentees. Mentor 2000 is focused upon those who are particularly vulnerable to disappointment. Therefore, the program will do everything possible to ensure the greatest degree of stability and continuity for the youngsters.

The following strategies have been developed to retain mentors and the program will:

Ensure mentors have a thorough understanding of their role
Maintain regular contact with youth and mentors
Maintain a system which supports a mentor's need to voice concerns and problems
Provide feedback to mentors on their performance
Provide on-going training for mentors
Establish mentor support groups
Establish a backup mentor support system in case a mentor needs occasional time off
Recognize the mentor's efforts (e.g., awards, luncheons, banquets, dinners, newspaper articles, positive feedback, etc.)


In order to answer this question, we must first understand that effective mentoring is "not a one-way street," characterized by "all-knowing" adults imparting wisdom to forever attentive and eager youth. Rather, effective mentoring is a relationship; a special contract between the mentor and mentee that requires two-way participation.
Naturally, the purpose of The Buster Reference Manual* is directed primarily toward exploring the role of the effective mentor. However, we must not forget that there are also characteristics common to "good mentees." While it is clearly not necessary that prospective mentees possess each of these characteristics to the utmost degree, it is important to recognize that for the mentoring relationship to succeed, mentees must be young people who:

Express a sincere interest in participating
Are free of serious psychological or behavioral difficulties that would more appropriately require professional assistance
Are young people in need of positive and caring guidance in dealing with the challenges associated with growing up?
Prospective mentees may be referred by schools, parents, other community organizations, or through self-referrals. Parental involvement, essential to participation, may be confined through permission forms or home visits and other activities specifically geared to make parents aware of Buster and its potential benefits.

Additional criteria targets "at-risk" youth because of:

Family disruption
Academic deficiency
Psycho-social problems
Marginal or under-achieving behaviours
Gang influence Drug use Sexual activity Alcohol abuse Suicidal tendencies Mentor 2000 is faced with the need to effectively engage in the recruiting, screening and selecting, and retention of mentors and mentees as part of an on-going basis.

Mentee Recruitment Methods are as follows:

The recruitment of mentees begins with identifying the portion of the youth population which will the focus of the mentoring effort. Having identified the youth to be served are at-risk students (e.g., family disruption, academic deficiency, psycho-socio problems, marginal or underachieving behaviors), referral and follow-up is the process of getting the individual youth and his/her parents/guardians referred to the program and ensuring that they are afforded every opportunity to participate. This process will involve the efforts and abilities of people and organizations from all aspects of the community.

It is essential to recruit youths into the mentoring program. No one source for recruiting youths can be expected to fill all of the program capacity or to reach all of the youth who could most benefit from participation in the program.
Active recruiting methods will reach more youth and may likely reach those who can best benefit from the experience, yet they are least likely to be self-referrals. Active recruitment is considered a normal and regular part of any program and provisions have been made to address this aspect of the program very carefully.
An appealing message appropriate to Buster, or whatever agency is providing mentoring services will be developed

Materials will be designed in language geared to students/at-risk youth
Materials will be designed to attract the parents/care-givers of students/at-risk youth
A "tag" will be added to island wide Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Utilise local press releases, PSAs, mailings related to the island wide brochure, PSA and other publicity
Personal presentations will be made to youth and parent groups
Posters and flyers will be developed
Recruitment and referral sources:
Schools, Community-based Youth Service Agencies, Department of Social Services or other government agencies, care agencies,
Parent organizations (PTAs, etc.), Religious organizations (e.g., clergy and youth programs), Direct outreach (e.g., youth in schools, community programs, shopping malls, etc.),Community leaders and young people. As discussed earlier, the mentoring relationship is a contract between two parties: the mentor and the mentee. This means that the mentee must be a willing and able participant, if the mentoring process is to be effective. Too frequently, well-intentioned mentoring efforts fail because program operators fall victim to the understandable tendency to stretch the limits of the mentoring concept be accepting inappropriate candidates as mentees. Motivated by the desire to help all youth in need, it is easy to forget that mentoring is only effective when applied to the appropriate youth/at-risk population.

Regardless of a mentor's motivation and skill, his/her impact upon a youth will be largely determined by the prospective mentee's:

Willingness and desire to participate
Capability of benefiting from a mentoring relationship
Once the recruitment process has begun to work, youth and mentors will began applying to the program. The point at which youth first make contact with the program can be, for some youth, the most critical encounter.


If properly handled, the youth is likely to become a mentee; improper handling may well result in frustration, anger and distrust on the part of the youth. It is important to remember that most at-risk youth have already experienced adult indifferences and callousness. At all cost, volunteers and participating mentors must not reinforce negative perceptions.

When a youth contacts Buster directly, he/she will be briefly interviewed to assess their interest in the program and their suitability. If they seem to a candidate for the program, a personal interview will be scheduled, at which time the youth can complete an application and receive additional information about the program.
If a parent of other adult calls on behalf of a youth, they will be interviewed briefly to assess the appropriateness of the referral, and then an information packet will be mailed out. They will be asked to review the packet with the youth, and if still interested, call back and schedule a screening interview.

Mentor/mentee matching strategies include:

Interest based system - the program tries to match mentors with vocational or leisure activity interest, with youth who express similar interest(s).
Goal based system - matching mentors and youth sharing the similar program goals (e.g., a youth wanting to improve reading skill is matched with a mentor who wants to teach reading and improve literacy).

Demographic based system - matching mentors and mentees on the basis of factors such as background, life experiences/problems, or expressed preferences.
What these various systems have in common is that each system has generated a number of successful mentoring relationships and each system has experienced failures.

It must be remembered that mentoring is an intensely personal experience for the mentor and the mentee. Successful matching systems emphasize developing the personal compatibility between the mentor and mentee.

What takes place at the initial mentor/mentee interaction meeting is very important. Buster is designed to invest heavily in facilitating this event. The degree of structure and the type of activities which will take place during the interaction meeting is dependent upon the capacity and capabilities of the organization and staff. The goal of the experience should be kept firmly in mind. That goal is to:




In discussing the development of Buster, it is understandable that the bulk of our attention is placed upon matters related to dynamic recruitment, effective training and sensitive matching of mentors and mentees. These are the essential program steps upon which the Buster initiative can either rise or fall.

There is, however, one more ingredient that can assure the success of Buster: Parental involvement. Earlier the importance of parental approval was addressed. Buster Parent - Expectations Form explains to parents what information is collected and shared with a prospective mentor. In addition, a Parental Permission Form is used to document parental permission for a youth's participation. The necessity for parental approval, however, is obvious and requires no explanation here. Since mentoring deals with minors, parental approval is required both from a legal and a common sense standpoint.

Parental involvement is a valuable and beneficial asset that does not always accompany parental approval. While "approval" is rarely a problem, merely entailing the securing of a signature, "involvement" requires some sensitive and determined hard work. Do not believe, at first glance, that an overwhelmed parent would eagerly become involved in the efforts of a mentor extending his/her offer of assistance. A closer look reveals a more complicated and challenging set of circumstances.
An overwhelmed and needy parent may instead be intimidated at becoming too closely involved with this "helping hand." Becoming an involved parent in the mentoring may represent to the parent a sign of his/her "failure to do the job alone." A parent experiencing difficulty in any phase of child rearing is apt to suffer from a weakened sense of self-worth. A poorly-timed or inappropriately extended offer of help may turn a delicate but hopeful situation into a permanently closed door!
Similarly, involvement may be withheld in the fear that the mentor will become too familiar with current sensitive and personal family problems. In understandable distrust, the parent may fear that what the mentor finds out "the whole community, school, etc., will know."

An endless list of reasons could be provided as to why a parent may be reluctant to become an active participant in the mentoring process. However, a mentor must understand that any effort spent in establishing a cooperative and working relationship with a mentee's parents can yield bountiful rewards. In the course of this relationship, the mentor is in a position to positively impact upon the entire family system in ways that will continue to reveal themselves long after the mentoring experience has concluded. While dealing with parents in an atmosphere of trust, the mentor may be able to:

Provide guidance in effective parenting; showing parents alternative means of relationship building, discipline and behavior management
Demonstrate that they are in a position to teach their child valuable life skills such as cooking, budgeting, balancing a checkbook, etc.
Provide referral assistance to a parent experiencing difficulties requiring specialized attention, such alcohol/drug difficulty, health issues, financial crisis, etc.
Remember: The mentoring relationship that includes an involved parent has the potential to impact on the entire family system and result in some real and permanent changes.


Despite the myriad factors that can stand in the way of a parent's active involvement in the mentoring process, Buster takes all practical steps to ensure that parents receive sensitive and open invitations to participate in appropriate activities. Once the "door" is opened, many parental concerns or fears can be identified and, hopefully resolved. Be content to move one step at a time!
Parents will be invited to an initial orientation and to periodic workshops/cookouts/club events, etc.

The orientation is a forum to dispense with fears and concerns. Everyone is a "newcomer," parent, mentee, mentor, and program administrator. By using this shared anxiety to advantage, the skilled administrator can make parents feel an immediate sense of involvement, as all parties get to know each other.
The Program Coordinator should use this orientation session to state the goals of the program, emphasizing throughout - the support and assistance parents can provide, regardless of the time expended on this activity.

Many opportunities will be provided in the course of the program for parents to vent frustrations and share feelings regarding the pressures they are currently facing.
In addition to the obvious therapeutic value, sharing one's feelings while under stress can provide the helper with the opportunity to communicate empathy and trustworthiness, qualities that frequently encourage further contact.
Parental participation and involvement will be rewarded.

The means by which parents will be recognized for their participation and involvement include: periodic parties, congratulatory letters, certificates and award ceremonies, that communicate to a parent that his/her efforts are important and appreciated.


As stated earlier, parents experiencing difficulty with their children undoubtedly experience a lost of self-confidence. The mentoring program can help to address these feelings by eliciting, whenever possible, parental input regarding program activities, ideas and participation. In addition to communicating to parents a sense of their own impact on the program, legitimately relying upon their input will improve the program's operation, ensuring its responsiveness to mentee and parent needs.
Mentors are busy people too and they, also, will be provided encouragement and guidance in dealing with mentee parents must not be interpreted by them as an instruction to do so. Mentors must be aware at all times that program expectations placed upon them pertain exclusively to their time and investment in a mentee.
Participating mentors will be properly informed of what is expected of Buster Mentors. A program that fails to properly communicate what is expected of its mentors is apt to lose them! This mentoring program hopes not to allow this to occur.
Parental involvement, to whatever degree, is the surest way to enhance the likelihood that our mentoring efforts will be successful. For this reason, mentee parents warrant the designation assigned them at the beginning of this section: A Necessary Ingredient!

Training sessions will depend upon the type of training being conducted and will be in either a group activity, formal lecture-type or small work group activities.
Materials used will range from handouts, exercise sheets for the group-type activities or use of reference materials.

The length of training sessions or activities will be dependent upon how low any one activity will take as well as how long the entire sessions will take. In addition, it will largely depend upon the natural limitations on the attention span of the participants.
The planning of activities, whether group exercise or breaks, most training sessions will range from 10 to 15 minutes rather than a flat amount of time such as 20 or 30 minutes.

The trainer will clarify what is expected of the trainees in terms of time, attendance and preparation; state the goal(s) of the training; state what will be covered and what the materials are expected to convey.
In instances where there are multiple sessions, the trainer will state at the beginning of each session what that session will cover as well as to briefly summarize the last session.

The trainer may utilize several different types of materials to conduct the sessions which may include flip charts, newsprint pads, tape, markers, chalk, tape and video recorders, sound equipment if required, etc., The trainer may periodically refer to his/her notes, or script during the training. This prevents the trainer from making a presentation based on memory alone.

Depending on the nature of the training, there may be more than one summation. The trainer will plan to sum up every session. At the end of the program there will be an overall summation which will include highlighting the main points and reinforcing the intent of the training. The participants are expected to provide "feed-back" of what they got out of the material and what they saw as the significant points which were made. In this way, the trainer can add to the participants understanding and emphasize any points which might have been missed. The participants are also expected to complete a training evaluation form that will be used to enhance training sessions in the future.


Once a team of prospective mentors has been identified, an experienced trainer will be recruited from one of the organisations in either the US, Canada or UK to conduct a one month training programme

On-going mentor training and supervision are important in order to:

Increase the confidence of the mentors
Provide opportunities for mentors to get feedback about what they are doing
Improve skills and knowledge of the mentors
Update mentors on activities and information
Address problems and concerns on a regular basis

Buster Training should be conducted as follows:

1. Training will follow the training session agenda.
2. Training will reflect the practices of similar programmes as a resource in determining topics and priorities for training.
3. Role-playing exercises will be designed to simulate situations with which the mentors will be confronted, and skills that will be required.

Discussions will follow regarding how the mentor would react if the mentee:

Didn't show up for a mentor/mentee meeting
Got in trouble at school
Appeared mistreated/abused
4. Mentors will receive positive reinforcement for their time, dedication and performance during training.
5. Mentors will be asked for feedback about the training session.
6. Mentors will be asked to share special skills and experiences with other mentors during training
7. Training will provide a forum for:
Sharing experiences and helpful techniques
Identifying areas of concern in the program
8. Knowledgeable guest speakers will be invited to supplement and reinforce training session/workshop topics


Room/space available for specific date and time
Enough chairs
Proper ventilation
Open and accessible restrooms
Rearrange space to create a more comfortable environment.
The trainer is responsible for providing a sign-in sheet, agenda, name tags, copies of all handouts, exercises or reference materials, notepaper, newsprint and refreshments unless otherwise informed.


Special Guests
"Ice Breaker"
Training Program
Break (approximately halfway through program)
Closing Exercise

Mentors will be encouraged to utilize the Worksheet: Planning Mentor Training to develop presentation materials for subjects not specifically addressed by e Mentor 2000 training or contained in the reference manual.

Buster Program Evaluation

Buster will conduct periodic reviews of its operations. These reviews will use a number of data collection methods and techniques to form a balanced and quantitative picture of the program.
The results of the review will be reported in writing to the Program Administrator and Program Authority. They will also be the basis for directing the future course of the program, and will dictate where the effort of the staff and volunteers should be focused.


An evaluation will be conducted to determine progress, uncover problems, revise existing goals and formulate new objectives. The reviews will be planned in advance (6, 12, 18 months or more) and will be conducted both by program staff and persons not connected with the day-to-day operations of the mentoring program, working together in a spirit of honesty and cooperation.

For conducting the evaluation, the following questions have been developed to examine each phase of the mentoring program as follows:

Do all of the volunteers (including mentors) have written descriptions of their duties and the program expectations?
Have volunteers received evaluations of their performance and what has been the result of these evaluations?
How many positions have not been filled?
What is the average time that a volunteer has served?
Have volunteers received the training specified in the program design?
Have orientation and training programs for the community been carried out?
Have existing programs been improved and extended?
Has youth behavior changed as desired?

Program records and questionnaires will provide quantitative data which will be useful in determining group gains. The reviewers will conduct interviews with mentors and mentees in order to obtain qualitative information concerning best and worse case situations. Both types of data will be useful in improving the program and in deciding future directions.

Mentors and mentees will be asked to specifically comment on the value of their training, their experiences when being recruited, the encouragement and support they receive, their perception of their role in the program, and whether they feel appreciated.


Depending upon the capacity of Buster volunteers and staff, the experience of the staff and volunteers, the nature of the records maintained, there will be variability in the degree of sophistication of the evaluation process. What is of greater importance is that some planned review/assessment/evaluation be conducted so that some sense of where the program "is" can be obtained.

The critical feature of any review is that it provide the best possible information that could have been collected under circumstances, and that this information meet the credibility requirements of its audience.

There is no point in conducting a review if no report is made. Therefore, those conducting the review will be required to make a written report to the senior program managers and the Program Authority (Board of Directors). The report should be brief, factual and present the reviewers findings and recommendations. While the report must be able to be substantiated, reports containing raw data will not be accepted. All due care must be taken to protect the confidentiality of the information that is gathered and utilized for such reports.


"If you don't know where you are, how do you know where you are going? If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
Once the review in is hand, the program administration will develop a course of action based upon the findings. Even in the best case situation, where the report accurately reflects that there are no major problems, and that all goals are being met, there will be questions concerning what is next? Does the program continue what it has been doing until there is a problem? Will the staff and volunteers get bored? Does the program build upon its success and attempt to take on additional components and activities? Does the program take a chance and fail?
It is highly unlikely that Mentor 2000 will be lucky enough not to have the situation outlined above. However, the one important thing to keep in mind, is, as the program authority struggles to decide where to go next, there can be no improvement if the problems are not known.


The Team Mentoring Concept (TMC) has been developed for the purpose of insuring the consistency of a mentor-mentee relationship under the following four doctrines of mentoring pretences which include the availability of:
Peer mentoring approaches

At any particular point in time, the mentee has direct contact with several mentors, in lieu of scheduled vacations, emergencies, etc., that participating mentors may have or are due to unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, the mentoring relationship is solidly held intact throughout the course or duration of the mentor-mentee relationship.

Mentoring Questions

Mentor - Do I have the ability to help?
Mentee - Do you know what I consider help?
Mentor - Do I have the ability to make a change in a young person's future?
Mentee - What kind of change?
Mentor - Do I have the time to make a difference?
Mentee - Should I even take the time?

The MENTOR MAKES the time, ACCEPTS the challenge and MAKES the difference!
One might ask, "What do I need to be a mentor?"
The ability to listen, communicate and understand
A clearly defined set of values
The desire to make a difference
The ability to inspire interest in both business and school

The MENTEE TAKES the time, MEETS the challenge and MAKES the difference!
The mentee might ask, "What do I have to do?"
Show a desire to learn
Keep an open mind
Share hopes and dreams
Be patient and don't expect miracles to happen overnight
Communicate on a one-to-one basis with mentor or on a regular basis with your mentoring team
Have faith in oneself and ability to achieve goals

Mentoring Activities

One hour can be worth a MILLION BUCKS!
The Mentor or Mentoring Team should spend with the Mentee as follows:
15 Minutes - Talking
What did the mentee do at school this week? Or, at home this past weekend?
What does the mentee need help with today? Or, what would the mentee like to explore?
15 Minutes - Reading
Share a library book, newspaper or sports magazine.
Have the mentee read to you.
15 Minutes - Play a game
Bring one from home (Board, checkers, dominoes, cards, etc.).
15 Minutes - Some form of physical activity
Walk, jog or run together around the school grounds, park, track, etc.
Play basketball in the school gym, at the park, etc.
Play catch, throwing a football, softball, etc.
On a consistent basis, this ONE HOUR of one-to-one or mentoring team interaction can make all the difference in the world. And, it becomes more important to the mentee as a support mechanism - IF YOU CAN'T COMMITT, DON'T GET INVOLVED!
Mentoring is strictly for those who promise themselves that they'll be there when the time warrants it!