The role of the life-coach is to assess needs pertaining to both social skills and life skills and create a customized plan to help youth reach goals that will help strengthen their overall quality of life. We will provide one-to-one and small group mentoring services for youths ages 8-18. These services include, but are not limited to, academic support, job readiness, college experiences, leadership skill building, recreational activities, and much more. Life-coaching creates tangible long and short-term goals and help the youth track progress. Incentives are offered and given within reason for the progress that the youth makes.
Large group sessions will be held one time per week and include all of the youth identified by our mentors and life coaches, collaboration teams, care coordinators, social service workers, and/or therapists who are in need of a social approach. The group setting allows youth to engage with peers and recognize that many issues that they face are not unique to them, thus, building a family-like atmosphere conducive of trust, accountability, and hope to gain the skills necessary to lead a more productive life in the home, community, and school. In this large group setting, youth are allowed get to engage in the following:
Small group sessions combine the model of peer mentoring and senior mentoring. The mentor is the senior to the mentees and, therefore, he or she facilitates the group. Mentees are typically peers who benefit from getting outlook from one another, as well. The experience gained from this is not considered traditional yet it is a research-based approach that can be extremely transformational. Mentees learn to trust a group and it helps boost morale. These youth help to hold each other accountable and offer varying points of view. This approach focuses on multiple development and is more topical and coachable. It also promotes healthy competition. Youth gain a healthy network of peers that ultimately become life-long friends. The benefits from this also include being part of the following:
Using the above-mentioned mentoring strategies to provide direct and ongoing services to youth who are not a part of a contracted agency, non-DCS, non-probation that would like to strengthen their life and prevent becoming labeled as at-risk, juvenile delinquent, statistic, etc. These services are provided typically through group, but 95 youth per year qualify for one-on-one and small group services. They must meet a particular criteria and guideline. This also assists in our agency becoming a natural support to youth after case close-out (though services can look much different after closure). Our agency recognizes that effective mentoring comes through long-term relationships and trust. Because of this, all youth has the opportunity to continue in our program for as long as they are willing. Many of these prevention youth have evolved into volunteer or paid mentors and office staff.