Nine months in duration, our proven model of group life skills programming and direct 1:1 mentoring, along with intensive case management, produces program outcomes that surpass national averages in high school achievement and graduation. These programs typically take place at a corporation such as HBO, Viacom, and Warner Music Group, in which employees volunteer to mentor high school students. Not only do these young people form an individual supportive relationship with their mentor, they are exposed to a professional workplace and develop the soft skills necessary for success in environments previously unfamiliar to them.
With a similar structure to our worksite programs, our Community Mentoring Programs engage mentors from various walks of life to help mentees acheive key goals: • Overall academic achievement • Goal setting • Improving social skills and interpersonal relationships • Reducing risk-taking behaviors • Increasing confidence and self-esteem • Embracing a safe, supportive community • Maximizing true potential to become responsible, self-sufficient and productive adults
Surfers Transforming Lives
Youth Mentoring Connection’s STOKED CITY SURF CAMP provides Los Angeles youth the opportunity to ride the waves at local beaches. For many of our youth, this program means seeing the beach for the first time in their lives, despite the fact that they are living less than a 30 minute drive away. Others who did not know how to swim learn to be comfortable in the water. Our youth face enormous obstacles and live in high crime areas where they are constantly exposed to gangs, drugs and violence. Surfing serves as a retreat from the daily environment they face and many use the sea to heal their wounds and expand perspective.
to One evening a month, YMC hosts youth and mentors participate in deep discussion in gender-specific groups. The evening begins with a community circle providing a safe place for our youth, and a welcoming space for guests. Then, separating into gender-specific groups allows for deeper conversation, and meaningful support found in the experiences shared by others. We believe that our gifts lie closest to our wounds, and by uncovering our pain we begin to shine a light on our strengths.
Urban Oasis Film Academy
This three-month program gives youth the opportunity to learn and create a short film with the guidance of volunteers from the film industry. Each mentee cohort works as a team to write, direct, perform, and edit their own work. At the end of the program, YMC holds a red-carpet-style premiere event where youth, their families, mentors, and staff view the film and celebrate their success.
In October of 2004, Youth Mentoring Connection founder Tony LoRe, with help from Orland Bishop (Shade Tree Multi-Cultural Foundation) created YMC’s first Mentee Initiation Intensive – patterned after Indigenous Initiation Rites. In 2007 Chris Henrikson and his staff from Street Poets, Inc. joined the effort, bringing their poetic imagination and Chris’ deep sense of elemental ritual. We facilitate two “Youth Initiation Retreats” in the San Gabriel Mountains near Big Bear, led by Tony LoRe and Juliana Wells. Throughout the retreats we focus on the deeper work of healing from wounds, shining a light on gifts, and empowering youth to take the next vital steps towards positive, productive adulthood.