Nobody would say mentoring is an easy task. Here at HOPE, we are well aware of the challenges of mentoring and the importance of ongoing mentor training and support. In fact, opportunities for continued training is one of the benchmarks for best practice within mentoring.
One of the most challenging and constant tasks for our HOPE mentors is determining what activities to do with their mentees each session. In addition to mentoring, our students become teachers of sorts, creating lesson plans individualized per their mentee's needs. For that reason, we have been hard at work creating mentor portfolios that will help our undergraduates spend more time thinking about their mentee than their lesson plan.
On January 22, we held a mentor training session for our active mentors to familiarize themselves with our new mentor portfolios. These portfolios, designed by Leana McClain, were created with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development standards for Indiana employees in mind. Included in the beginning of the portfolio is the Indiana DWD Employability Skills Checklist. With this checklist, mentors can work with their mentees to determine areas of needed growth and attention.
The remainder of the portfolios are full of activity ideas and resources that address all the skills outlined in the Employability Skills checklist. There are puzzles, inspirational stories, conversation starters, and plenty of other ideas that can easily be adapted for each mentoring pair.
We were fortunate to have three Indiana Department of Correction staff members with us to help with this important mentor training. Alongside our JDOC education director, student counselor, and transition coordinator, our mentors practiced the activities and discussed how best to implement them in their personal mentoring relationships. HOPE is very excited to see how the mentor portfolios help our mentors in the upcoming months!
Here are a few photos from the event for your enjoyment.