Mentoring a young person considered at risk is not always easy and sometimes it’s downright difficult! It is common for a mentor to think, “Am I doing this right?” Or “Did I say the right thing?” Or “How in the world do I reach this kid?”
That’s why Mentors Care is excited to launch a new sharing program we call Coffee Talk as an additional resource for our approximately 400 volunteer mentors. Mentors Care has reserved seating at a number of coffee shops throughout the region where they can discuss mentoring best practices, exchange ideas, and discover successful methods in mentoring the community’s most at-risk high school students.
Coffee Talk also provides a venue for newer mentors to get tips from more seasoned volunteers on complex student issues or get advice on ways to handle difficult situations. The secret sauce to Mentors Care’s amazing success is the one-to-one relationships between students and their mentors. Hopefully, providing one-to-one relationships among our mentors will reinforce what is already a highly effective program model.
Mentors Care Expansion and Community Relations Coordinator and organizer of the Coffee Talk events, Sean Byars, has scheduled coffee time for mentors beginning Tuesday, October 26th through October 29th at various coffee houses throughout Ellis, Taylor, and Dallas Counties to include Lighthouse Coffee Bar in Midlothian; Firehouse Gastro Park in Grand Prairie; Abuelitas Sabor Coffee Shop in Ferris; and MOOD Froyo & Coffee in Abilene.
“We started Coffee Talk to give our mentors a chance to get to know each other and talk about the challenges they face during the school year. For example, a new mentor may be experiencing a particular situation with their student that a more seasoned mentor could help them with,” Byars said.
Executive director, Dena Petty, has hopes of offering Coffee Talk events to our mentors again in December. It all depends on how beneficial the October events prove to be for our mentors.
“Mentors are a unique community full of people that see a need and want to be involved and make a difference in their communities,” Petty said.
“But for some, there can be frustration in mentoring an at-risk student. I think many will find from these conversations that they are really not failing as mentors as they fear.”
“Mentoring is ongoing and chipping away at the barriers that keep our students from believing they can do it. That they can achieve academically and dare to think about a future,” Petty said.
For Coffee Talk locations, dates, and times please visit Mentors.Care/Coffeetalk/ or contact Sean Byars at Sean.Byars@Mentors.Care or Melissa Tennery at Melissa.Tennery@Mentors.care.