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The next stage of the relationship is "Making the Connection." In this stage, you and your mentee begin to really feel connected. You understand each other fairly well, and your relationship now feels less fragile and more comfortable. You see more and more signs that your mentee trusts you and is willing to confide in you.


During this stage, you may begin to see changes in your mentee’s behavior that may be a result of your relationship with him. Perhaps your mentee is showing increased enthusiasm about getting together with you, or maybe he has developed a new interest, based on activities you’ve engaged in together. You may even note that he is increasingly able to develop healthy relationships with peers and adults.


It is critical to deepen your mentee’s evolving trust in you. You can do this by remaining committed to the relationship, respecting established boundaries, keeping your word, and honoring plans you’ve made with your mentee. To deepen the connection, you should also find ways to recognize and celebrate your mentee for his interests, skills, hard work, and other achievements that you have had the privilege to witness.

Making the Connection

A connected relationship opens up new possibilities.

At this point, your mentee sees you as a reliable adult friend and trusts you. As a trusted figure, you now have an enhanced ability to be a positive influence in his life. With this trusting relationship established, you can help your mentee to set meaningful, positive goals and seek out new interests and activities.

This is a good time to ask your mentee if he wants to brainstorm new goals for the mentoring relationship. There are a variety of goal-setting activities that can accommodate his personality and skills. For example, you can help him to start using a journal or blog to record his thoughts about the future, or you can support him in creating a poster or other work of art that captures his goals for the future.

  • Be a creative coach. Once your mentee has set one or more new goals, focus on supporting him to reach them.
  • Reflect and celebrate. Now that you understand your mentee on a deeper level, make an effort to acknowledge and praise the positive ways in which he’s developing. For example, you could say: “It took a lot of courage to ask your teacher for help when you realized that you were falling behind. Great job!” Or, “I saw how you held back and let Janet take the lead the other day. It was generous of you to share the limelight and support your friend.” You can also turn your acknowledgement into an open-ended question such as: “I noticed you stepped aside and let Janet take the lead. How did that feel? What made you decide to do that?”

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Audio Transcript

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Connect on the major – and minor – issues.

Most of your conversations with your mentee will be about everyday topics such as school, crushes, pastimes, etc. Your ease with this part of the relationship lays the groundwork for you to support your mentee when more critical issues are at stake. By confiding in you and discussing personal information with you - even when it’s negative - your mentee is demonstrating that she trusts you and has confidence in your ability and willingness to be there for her.

Imagine your mentee’s life as a pie with many sections.

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Audio Transcript

Imagine that your mentee’s life is this pie. Each slice represents a different aspect of her life: school, family, religion or spirituality, community, sports or physical activities, a part-time job, and hobbies. One slice represents your mentee’s relationship with you. Together, you have worked to make this relationship consistent, reliable, and trusting.

You can help your mentee set goals by selecting one “slice”— or one area of her life—to work on. Your mentee can reflect on what’s not working well or what she would like to improve in that area of her life, and set a goal for how to make a change. Help your mentee set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic, and time-bound.

To navigate through this module, use the menu in the left-hand column.
TCAM Partners

 

The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring Partners

TCAM is a project of Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), in collaboration with Dare Mighty Things, Inc. (DMT); Dr. Roger Jarjoura of Indiana University and founder of Aftercare for the Incarcerated Through Mentoring; and Dennis Talbert, President of Empower Outreach, a faith-based mentoring program for high-risk youth. TCAM is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

 

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Logo

 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supports states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for juveniles. OJJDP of the U.S. Department of Justice strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system's efforts to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families. OJJDP plays a vital, leadership role in the field of youth mentoring in the United States.

 

Education Development Center (EDC) Logo

 

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). EDC is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing learning and promoting health. EDC works to reduce barriers and disparities with an emphasis on the most vulnerable populations, especially those living in poverty. EDC builds the capacity of practitioners to reduce juvenile delinquency through strategies such as mentoring system-involved youth; restorative justice; dropout prevention; and prevention/early intervention for youth violence, gang involvement, and alcohol and other drug use.

 

Dare Mighty Things (DMT) Logo

 

Dare Mighty Things, Inc. (DMT) is a management consulting firm specializing in the development of large-scale programs that impact vulnerable populations. DMT works with national, state, and local organizations to develop large-scale, outcome-based social initiatives for at-risk and high-risk populations.

User Guide

 

In each section of this lesson, you will be presented with three tiers of information. The following descriptions will help you navigate this self-guided experience.

 

Media Player: The main media player at the top of the screen is an audio- and video-based overview of the section. Press play to see and hear the overview. You may pause at any time by clicking the pause button on the bottom left of the player. The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen.

 

On-Screen Text: Below the main media player you will see on-screen text. This includes the detailed information you need to know in order to accomplish the learning objectives for the lesson.

 

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Interactivities List

 

 

TCAM Online Training Series for Mentors and Mentoring Program Staff Terms and Conditions for Use

Overview

The TCAM Online Training Series for Mentors and Mentoring Program Staff was developed by TCAM—The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring. It is designed to be used free of charge by youth mentoring programs funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice and by other mentoring providers and individuals.

 

The TCAM Online Training Series for Mentors and Mentoring Program Staff includes six online training modules for mentors, which are intended to be used in combination with in-person mentor training provided by mentoring programs, as well as two online modules for mentoring program staff about designing and delivering in-person mentor training. The content of the training series is informed by mentoring research and best practice, the expertise of the TCAM Leadership Team, and TCAM’s experience providing technical assistance to OJJDP mentoring grantees. Each module is designed to be completed in approximately 30 minutes, and individuals may opt to complete one or more of the eight modules.

 

Technical Requirements
Viewing and Downloading PDFs

Some of the materials in this training series are posted in PDF format. PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, is a popular format for distributing documents on the Internet. To view and print PDF documents, you need the free Acrobat Reader software. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, go to the Adobe website and follow the directions to download and install the software.

 

Multimedia Software

The training series contains some links to multimedia resources. To be able to experience the full multimedia effects, you may need the following free software download:

 

Enabling Javascript

To use the training series, JavaScript must be enabled in your computer’s browser. For Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options and select the “Security” tab; click “Custom Level” near the bottom; scroll down to “Scripting” and make sure “Enable” is selected under “Active scripting." For Firefox, go to Tools > Options > Content > Enable JavaScript (checked). For Safari, go to Preferences > Click Security > Check Enable JavaScript. Close the window and click Reload.

 

Link Check

All of the links in this training series are checked regularly; however, the Web is an ever-changing medium, and you may find that some of the links don’t work. If you find a broken link, please report it.  Note that if you find a broken within a reading or resource on another website, only the owners of that website can repair the link.

 

Course Accessibility

This training series contains accessibility features to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. The developers of the training series aim to achieve W3C WAI Priority 2 level. If you have difficulty using any aspect of this training series, please contact the Technical Facilitator at tcamsupport@edc.org or 617-618-2334.

 

Contact Information

This training series was created by The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring, operated by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), in the performance of Grant No. 2009-JU-FX-K001 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

 

For content-related questions about the training series:

TCAM Project Director (ijonesturner@edc.org; 617-618-2346)

 

For technical questions about the training series:

Technical Facilitator  (tcamsupport@edc.org; 617-618-2334)

 

 

Skillbuilding Exercises

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  • Imagine your mentee’s life as a pie with many sections.

    Imagine your mentee’s life as a pie with many sections.

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    Click to install Adobe Flash Player

    Audio Transcript

    Imagine that your mentee’s life is this pie. Each slice represents a different aspect of her life: school, family, religion or spirituality, community, sports or physical activities, a part-time job, and hobbies. One slice represents your mentee’s relationship with you. Together, you have worked to make this relationship consistent, reliable, and trusting.

    You can help your mentee set goals by selecting one “slice”— or one area of her life—to work on. Your mentee can reflect on what’s not working well or what she would like to improve in that area of her life, and set a goal for how to make a change. Help your mentee set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic, and time-bound.