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Becky Cooper is a Certified NMRC/National Mentoring Research Center Technical Assistance Provider.  As such, you may be eligible for free Mentoring Technical Assistance from Becky.  

Please contact Becky for more details.

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Leadership

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Becky Cooper offers individualized consulting specific to your mentoring organizational needs.  Becky is a recognized expert in the mentoring field

We know that academic achievement is a predictor of future economic and life-skills success. But the opportunity for future success for at-risk youth begins with the physical and emotional health that is essential to academic success. At-risk youth face challenges young people should not have to face - poverty, unstable homes, abuse, violence, gang pressures - all leading to behavioral, physical and emotional issues. Adults in their lives are too stressed, too busy, or simply unable to provide the support they need.

 

Dr. James Comer of the Yale Child Study Center states: "No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship." Friends for Youth recognizes that at-risk youth without a strong adult presence in their lives are significantly at-risk to fail, not only in their academics but in the life skills necessary to navigate everyday living. 

The very foundation of mentoring is that if caring, trusted adults are involved in the life of a young person, the youth will be more likely to become successful adults themselves (Jekielek, Moore, et. al 2002).  

Youth who participate in mentoring relationships experience positive benefits:[i]

 

  • Better school attendance and attitude

  • Better chance of higher education

  • Help in preventing substance abuse

  • Reduce negative risk behaviors

  • More positive social attitudes and relationships

  • Trust and communicate more with parents

  • Experience more emotional support from friends

  • Meaningful activities enhance future outlook

At the heart of positive mentoring effects is the development of a strong relationship between mentor and youth.[ii] Mentoring is both an intervention and a prevention strategy: effective mentoring can impact a youth who is heading down a troubling path and a youth who is already there. No matter what the mentoring strategy, “the relationship is the intervention”.[iii]

 

 

Successful Mentors[i]

  • Are committed and engaged

  • Prioritize the relationship over outcomes

  • Remain youth-focused and promote youth’s development

  • Use a strengths-based approach

  • Manage personal expectations and reactions

  • Effectively use relational skills

    • To bridge differences in age, culture, class

    • To negotiate family relationships

  • Hold positive regard for their mentees

  • Provide a guiding framework

Successful mentors also focus on the mentoring relationship. We know from research that some mentoring relationships are more successful and, therefore, more effective than others.

 

Relationships that Make More of Difference[ii]

  • Endure at least one year

  • Are characterized by consistent contact

  • Youth provides input into the structure of the relationship

  • Mentor promotes youth in his/her own endeavors

  • Youth sees mentor as a significant adult

  • Participants feel “close” to one another

 

[i] Spencer, 2007

[ii] DuBois et al, 2002; Grossman & Johnson, 1999; Grossman & Rhodes, 2002; Morrow & Styles, 1995

 

[i] Child Trends Research Brief, 2005

[ii] Grossman and Johnson, 1999

[iii] Johnston, 2005

[iv] Grossman and Rhodes, 1999

A recognized expert in the mentoring field, Becky

  • Mentoring Children of Prisoners National Support Center Advisory Board

  • California Governor’s Mentoring Partnership Quality Assurance Standards Committee

  • Chair, Silicon Valley Mentoring Coalition

  • Secretary, Board of Directors of East Palo Alto Youth Development Center

  • Member of National Working Group on Accreditation convened by MENTOR

  • PSU Summer Institute for Youth Mentoring

  • Singapore National Youth Council Conference

  • Stanford School of Education course “Urban Youth and Their Institutions”

  • Annual MENTOR Summit; Department of Education Mentoring Grantee Conference; Alberta Mentoring Partnership Conference + numerous other conferences and trainings

  • Chapter in Community Educators: A Resource for Educating and Developing Our Youth

  • Chapter on screening for 2nd edition of The Handbook of Youth Mentoring

  • Running a Safe and Effective Mentoring Program

  • Kettering Foundation Learning Cohort member: Citizens are a Resource for Education

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