These mentees are being supported by long time mentors, as well as new 4C trained group mentors. The new mentors are University of Washington student-athlete mentors!
Group Mentoring is a new program for the 4C Coalition that is based upon a familiar idea. We believe the group dynamic will help address the shortage of male mentors — an unavoidable result of our firm and necessary policy that the one-one-one mentoring relationship be gender matched between mentor and mentee.
We fear the tragic consequences for society when insufficient numbers of men sign up for the mentorship role, while a large number of youth boys await mentors. Particularly when the wait exceeds a youth’s ability to hang on and resist other influences.
We must address these critical issues:
A disproportionate number of youth we serve are African American males who more readily form a trusting bond with African American mentors.
Despite our targeted effort to recruit African American men as mentors, few men volunteer to mentor our at-risk youth.
Adults who volunteer as mentors appear statistically in this numeric order (highest to lowest):
1. White women
2. Women of color
3. White men
4. Men of color
Ezekiel Turner, UW Student-Athlete, is a 4C Mentor
“I hope to get a good experience with kids that come from the same background that I came from. I want to mentor kids by providing an inspiration to them,” says Ezekiel Turner, UW sophomore.
Ezekiel who plays safety on UW football team is from the Baltimore suburb of Glen Burnie, Maryland. He came to the UW because of the school, the coaches, and Seattle. Says Ezekiel, “I love the city.”
One of my academic advisors, Rod Jones, recommended that I consider getting involved with the Group Mentoring program. It is a good idea … it’s something I’m interested in.”
“As mentors, I had both of my parents to always look up to and help me. They are the most important mentors in my life. My coaches from back home are still my mentors and they helped me all through high school and helped me with the recruiting process… I’m still in touch with them.”
Several UW student-athletes are currently serving as 4C mentors.They are participating in a 4C group mentoring program that meets once a week at Yesler Community Center
Interview with mentor volunteer John Ross, a member of the Huskie football team
Where were you raised:“Born and raised in Long Beach, California.”
How did you get connected with 4C mentoring?“One of my professors suggested I look into getting involved. While I get credit for doing this, it’s not really about the class credit. I’m just interested in nonprofit organization for kids because that’s something I would like to do sometime.”
What is your role as a mentor?“My role here is to inspire these kids. And, observe how non-profits perform.”
Did you have a mentor growing up? “I’ve had many mentors and still do. I have really great parents who are my real mentors. I asked lots of people for advice and I consider them mentors. My coaches are also my mentors. My grandmother used to tell me that I have two ears and one mouth and that means you should listen twice as much as you talk. So I listen.”
Note: John and the other student-athletes are participating in the PEN OR PENCIL (POP) Group Mentoring in Central Seattle. The program’s goal is to inform and inspire a modern youth movement of engaged planners, leaders, and decision makers. Serving youth ages 12-17.
Mentors seek to inspire critical thinking, life skills development, and youth activism — encouraging youth to choose the road away from incarceration and toward higher education.
The 4C Coalition is a non-profit mentor organization that recruits, trains, and supports people from the community who volunteer to mentor youth involved in the juvenile justice system or at risk of entering the system. The 4C mentor acts as a role model and provides support for youth in SYVPI. The youth we serve reside or attend school in the Southeast, Southwest, or the Central Seattle community.
Position Title and Description
The 4C Group Mentor Program Facilitator will assist the 4C Coalition Mentor Program in carrying out the mission of the 4C Coalition Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) Group Mentoring Program: To help vulnerable youth break the cycle of violence.
This is position supports group mentoring services to youth in SE, SW or Central area of King County. Facilitation is responsible for overseeing group mentoring to Seattle area youth referred by Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. These youth are ages 13-17. Each of the 4C SYVPI sites is held in a designated location which includes Central Area- Yesler Community Center, SE area – Damascus Church and SW area group held at Denny International Middle School. Areas of responsibility include monitoring referred youth during group mentoring sessions. Communication with 4C staff involved in group mentoring. This position will provide facilitation, and mentoring services to youth in the designated geographical area of SYVPI. The position also is responsible for maintaining relationship with group mentors.
Facilitator’s will implement the 4C group curriculum which includes Pen or Pencil; Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens and Leadship skills.
Assure lesson plan is reviewed in advance. Review lesson plan with group mentors prior to weekly group. Group mentors will receive the lesson in advance.
Day of group assures youth sign in, assure affirmations or handout materials for the group is available to mentees and mentors. (4C staff will work closely with facilitator as needed)
Hours/Schedule: 4 Hours/week; Central Area – 6:00-7:30; SE Area -5:00-6:30; SW Area 2:00-4:00. Candidate must drive between 4C office /program site on a weekly basis. Curriculum and materials will be maintained in 4C office. 4C does prefer facilitator meet at 4C office to review curriculum and plan. This may be adjusted as coordination is organized.
Salary: Part-time Facilitation $5,000.00 per yr per site. The 4C Coalition recognizes that some employees require the use of a personal vehicle to accomplish their primary job duties and effectively serve their constituencies. 4C will reimburse $20.00 per month for the gas and other incidentals that come from using a personal vehicle.
Skills: Facilitators are strong listeners and presenters, with the ability to elicit feedback and provide salient evaluation. Mental health, social work, community organizing or counseling background is helpful.
The core responsibilities of the Group Mentor Facilitators involve active participation in the development of the Weekly Curriculum. The areas of responsibility follow:
Coordinate weekly group at designated site serving a minimum of 12 youth at each site.
Lead facilitation of group mentoring.
Assist with development and maintaining program curriculum.
Collaborate with 4C staff regarding snacks, food for youth.
Perform role that reflects safety, security, and health of all mentees and mentors.
Assist with planning, implementation, and evaluate group mentor curriculum.
Ensure mentors/ mentees sign in to group.
Collect sign in sheets after group and place in file.
Facilitate or Co-facilitate the groups in one of the areas of the SYVPI Central, SE and SW.
Supervise group mentees.
Passion for mission of 4C
Self started, independent thinker and planner
High level of integrity and trustworthiness
Strong communication skills
Willingness to accommodate flexible schedule
WA state driver license
Proficient in Microsoft office , Gmail, and Outlook
Willingness to undergo a criminal background check and references
In accordance with aims of the 4C Mentor Program:
•Collaborate and establish regular communication with the 4C staff.
••Problem solves issues that present as barriers to successful mentee growth.
“I wanted to work with young girls because high school was a difficult time for me. I wanted to help young women learn how to be themselves, and be confident in who they are,” says mentor Maggie Dyer.
Five years ago Maggie attended a United Way presentation about volunteer opportunities. They mentioned mentoring resources listed on their website. Maggie clicked on the 4C Coalition.
“When I saw the 4C mentoring program, I felt like it was perfect for me. I went through the training, and then they matched me with Andrea. We hit it off pretty quickly. She was 15 at that time. I am 10 years older than she is,” reports Maggie.
Andrea’s mother has been in and out of her life and her sister has raised her and her five siblings. Her home life has been rocky at times.
“The cool thing about the 4C is that they don’t want you to be like another parent in the youth’s life. I think I have been able to help and coach Andrea not as an authority figure but more so as a peer: someone Andrea looks up to, who is setting a positive example for her. I think I’ve been a stable person in Andrea’s life during a time where a young person needs stability the most. It feels good that I am able to be someone she can always count on,” says Maggie.
According to Maggie, Andrea, who is now 19 and a Garfield High School graduate, has always had a good head on her shoulders, and is very smart. “She’s a great girl. What she’s overcome in her life, and the outlook that she has on her life, is fantastic. I can’t really take any credit because she started out being a pretty terrific young lady. She’s even more amazing now.”
“Mentoring Andrea has been an incredible experience. I have gotten to know someone who I now consider family, someone who I would drop anything for. It’s a nice feeling knowing that Andrea feels the same way. We are both very grateful to have found each other through the 4C.”
At church, seven years ago, Gary Tillery, listened to a presentation about 4C’s mentoring program. Gary, retired after 26 years as a supervisor at Boeing, decided he’d give mentoring a try.
He attended 4C’s mentor training program. “The training program was very thorough as they went over the dos and don’ts of being a mentor,” says Gary.
After the training, Gary waited two nerve-racking months before being assigned a mentee.
Gary laughs when he says, “during the waiting period, I became very anxious about the commitment … I wasn’t sure that I would be up to the task. I thought that maybe when they called me with a mentee, I just wouldn’t answer the phone.”
4C finally called to let Gary know that they had found a good mentee match for Gary.
“My assigned mentee had a twin brother. Another man was going to take the other twin but he backed out. I felt bad for the other twin, so I agreed to mentor both of these kids,” states Gary.
“It is important to meet these kids at their level, but you have to be careful that you’re not their friend — you are their role model. I had to learn this the hard way. At first, in an effort to relate to them I became more of a pal to them,” admits Gary.
According to Gary, “you cannot be a total authoritarian person because they’re going to resist that. You need to find a way to balance the two approaches. And, of course, every kid is different so you have to be tuned in to them.”
Gary sites two specific impacts he’s had on the boys. “I taught them one of the most basic things —being on time. It’s an educational tool that you do to make your life a lot easier. I stayed on them constantly about being on time, and they eventually got it.”
Another specific impact was on one of the twins, a big strong guy, who could not seem to stay out of fights. Gary kept telling him to hang up his boxing gloves. Turns out this boy moved out of the area, and one day out of the blue, Gary gets a call from the boy, and the first thing he tells Gary is “I finally took your advice and I’ve hung up my gloves.”
Says Gary, “a mentor has to learn as you go along. I can’t give you a map or a book that can lead you down the path, you have to play it by ear. Oftentimes, they just need someone to talk to. The important thing is to be there for them.”