Four cornerstones exist within REACH: 1. Peer Mentoring 2. Adult-Youth Mentoring 3. Youth Service Professionals (facilitators, social workers, probation officers, etc.) mentoring their youth clients, and 4. Group Mentoring. The purpose of REACH’s four cornerstones is to foster protective factors that will help youth succeed and thrive within our community.
REACH Mentoring provides a structured Group Mentoring Activities Program that nurtures goal-directed thinking and develops social/emotional skills. Through the effective delivery of interdependent components, mentors/mentees participating in REACH programming will experience the following outcomes that contribute to improved achievement: (a) Improve social-emotional skills, (b) Increase positive engagement behaviors to build social capital, (c) Strengthen civic participation by, (d) Developing constructive relationships with both peers and adults in their schools and neighborhoods across Carlton County.
Our successful process engages mentees with mentors and creates a community who lead service-learning projects (community action) that tackle challenges within Carlton County. Mentors and mentees work with REACH program staff to identify issues and activate ideas that matter to the community.
This year, more out-of-the-box projects will be launched and creating more opportunities for mentees and mentors in our community to step-up and lead service-learning projects. One of the biggest strengths of our organization is the strong ties we have with the schools, human services, corrections, and the community. Working together and having many of the same clients ensures that each youth is building protective factors and doesn’t fall through the cracks. Under the respectful guidance of REACH staff, most youth participants surpass expectations of our community.
Effective training and sufficient time is provided for mentees, and peer/adult mentors to collaborate in service-learning and build relationships. Participants involved in REACH explore the lives of community leaders and are inspired to “make change” locally through service-learning projects.
The conversation about the future of our youth starts with a shared understanding of what is right with our youth, rather than what is wrong. Youth who are ready for the future are also hopeful and engaged at school and in their community. The REACH Mentoring Program recognizes that all young people have the potential to succeed in their community. REACH Mentoring’s youth development approach is conducted “with and by” young people, instead of just “to and for” them.
REACH Mentoring Program’s model builds youth leadership by cultivating mentoring relationships focused on acting to address local needs, teaching social-emotional skills, building informal/non-formal learning strategies to bolster protective factors with Carlton County youth.We incorporate youth development expert Karen Pittman’s tenets of positive youth development (confidence, character, connection, competence, contribution, and caring) and; social-emotional skills expert Daniel Goleman’s components of emotional intelligence — self-management, social awareness, self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. These skills are fundamental in developing strengths essential to both personal and community leadership, as well as classroom success. Our program resources address social/emotional learning needs (life skills), including critical-thinking skills, communication skills, how to set meaningful goals, and how to collaborate on projects.