The NPSEC Mentoring ProgrammeInauguration September
is dedicated to helping honest, sincere, caring, trustworthy
and responsible adults to help kids and youth today for their
NON DISCRIMINATION POLICY
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.
PRIVACY INFORMATION POLICY
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. Busters 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
DISABLED PARTICIPANTS POLICY
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
SEXUAL HARRASSMENT POLICY
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.
PROGRAMMES FOR AT-RISK YOUTHS (MARS & ART)
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
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
4. DO NOT ASSUME doing things your way is the best and only
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
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.
Buster - MENTORS MANUAL
WHAT IS MENTORING?
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.
DOES A MENTOR DO?
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
WHAT KIND OF PERSON IS A MENTOR?
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
Mentors must be comfortable with themselves and with who they
are. They must be able to step away from themselves and their
Mentors must be able to see the mentee as a separate person
with different needs and goals, and must be comfortable with
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
Mentors set standards of performance, usually high ones, and
give the mentee the assistance and self-confidence to reach
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
9. What would you hope to accomplish?
10. What is the most important advice you could share with
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:
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
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.
II Goals of Buster
III Role of the Mentor
IV The Mentee:
Issues concerning today's youth
V Mentoring Safety Net
VI The Matching Process
VII The Mentor-Mentee Relationship
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
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
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
By stressing the benefits the program provides to mentees
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
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
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
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
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
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
Regardless of a mentor's motivation and skill, his/her impact
upon a youth will be largely determined by the prospective
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.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE POWERFUL!!!
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
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:
ACHIEVE AS SUCCESSFUL AN INITIAL MEETING BETWEEN THE MENTOR
AND MENTEE AS POSSIBLE.
PARENTS MUST BE INVOLVED
WHY PARENTS ARE NEEDED...
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
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.
ENCOURAGING PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
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
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.
PARENTS MUST ALSO BE EMPOWERED
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
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
On-going mentor training and supervision are important in
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
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
TRAINING ENVIRONMENT REQUIREMENTS
Room/space available for specific date and time
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
SAMPLE TRAINING AGENDA
Break (approximately halfway through program)
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.
HOW THE PROGRAM WILL BE CONDUCTED
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
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
Have orientation and training programs for the community been
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
REPORTING RESULTS OF THE REVIEW
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.
ONGOING/CONTINOUS PROGRAM EVALUATIONS
"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
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.
BUSTER TEAM MENTORING CONCEPT (TMC)
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
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
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
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
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
And MOST IMPORTANTLY! DON'T GIVE UP!
One hour can be worth a MILLION BUCKS!
The Mentor or Mentoring Team should spend with the Mentee
15 Minutes - Talking
What did the mentee do at school this week? Or, at home this
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,
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!