The Mentoring Project
The Mentoring Project seeks to respond to the American crisis of fatherlessness by inspiring and equipping faith communities to mentor fatherless youth. Through dynamic trainings, mentor recruitment and the creation of sustainable mentoring communities, TMP is rewriting the story of a generation. We can’t bring back all the fathers, but we can provide mentors to step in their place.
Area churches, local school districts, educational institutions and mentoring agencies have come together to address the growing issue of fatherlessness in our community with the Y serving as the hub.
Donald Miller, founder of The Mentoring Project, says, “[The story of the fatherless generation] does not have to be cyclical. It can end with fewer men in prison, less families abandoned and the fatherless being cared for by positive role models who believe…that we can choose to live a better story.”
How Can You Be Involved?
- Refer a youth, typically a boy between the ages of 7-14 without a father in the home, to be mentored. Fatherless girls are also matched with women and boys/girls can be matched with families.
- Learn more about what a TMP mentor looks like and if you might be a fit to potentially change a child’s life through mentoring.
- Get your church involved. Each faith community will have a church liaison who will seek mentors in the church and support mentors in matches.
In Cumberland County children are on a waiting list for mentors. They are mostly fatherless boys who have been signed up for mentors by their mothers. Statistics tells us these fatherless youth are the most at-risk to become pregnant, use drugs, be incarcerated, drop out of school or commit suicide. Will you help us end the waiting list?
This program is led in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.
Q: Who can be a mentor?
A mentor is someone who is willing and able to commit at least one hour per week, for at least one initial year. The Mentoring Project (TMP) mentors are devoted Christ-followers who are at least 21 years old. They are people who have a heart for mentoring and / or for the fatherless.
Q: What does a mentor do?
A mentor is a trusted friend. A mentor faithfully shows up in the life of their mentee, models integrity and coaches with grace and truth. A mentor is a listener, someone who listens without judgment, making it safe for a mentee to share. A mentor models Christ-like behavior in both word and deed. Lastly, a mentor looks for teachable moments and talks about life issues with his mentee.
Q: How does TMP differ from organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters?
We work in direct partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) and utilize their services to match mentors and mentees. They also are involved in the follow-up and match support process. TMP differs from BBBS in that we offer a faith-based training and then strive to ensure that your faith community is able to create “ownership” of the ministry by offering the tools necessary to build a sustainable mentoring community.
Q: What is the time commitment?
The Mentoring Project asks for a one-year commitment where you would meet with your mentee 2-3 times a month. In the School Based Program we recommend weekly visits.
Q: What can I expect from the mentoring relationship?
Mentoring is a rewarding experience, both for the mentor and mentee. The quality of the mentoring relationship will have a great deal to do with not just how much time you invest, but how you invest. The best mentors are those who are intentional, and who grasp their role with seriousness. While this is true, it is important to understand that you have not committed to being a superhero.
Q: When can I see my mentee?
As a team, and with your mentee’s parents, you decide what you want to do. We recommend you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. BBBS will provide more guidance on this. Until your relationship is established the outings also will depend on the comfort level of your mentee’s parents, your mentee and you.
Q: What are some good ideas for outings with my mentee?
Start the relationship by gauging your mentee’s interest in various activities, and eventually do those things together. Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. BBBS also offers monthly activities to support the building of friendships.
Q: What kind of support can I expect once I get matched?
Once you are matched, a Match Support Specialist from BBBS will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations and feedback on how you are making a difference. Your TMP contact person also will follow-up on a regular basis to provide support and answer any questions you may have.