Mentoring program opens young eyes

Posted on June 13, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun
A tour of the San Francisco Coast Guard Air Station was one many Mentoring Alliance outings this spring.

The most successful school-based Mentoring Programs support consistent one-on-one relationships, as well as provide extra-curricular community-based activities.  The Stand By Me Mentoring Program strives to do both.

This school year, Program Director Tina Baldry, organized over 75 different events for mentors and mentees.  Examples included art classes, sports clinics, leadership workshops, culinary experiences provided by local chefs, family socials, and multiple fieldtrips to a variety of colleges, professional sporting events, and businesses.

These activities, Baldry said, are designed to broaden the mentee’s experiences and enhance their awareness of the surrounding community.

‘Road Map to your Future’ is one specific program that focuses on introducing mentees to the business world, where they meet owners, CEO’s, managers, and staff.  They learn about the different job opportunities that are available, the education it takes to qualify for various positions, and the salary scale associated with those jobs.

These experiences are opening doors and expanding a child’s knowledge of the world they live in, Baldy said. “They begin to realize that the possibilities are endless.”

The trips have proven to spark an interest, give education more value, and provide kids motivation to set goals.  Two years ago, group visited the Sonoma Police Department.  “By the end of the tour, Treytcy, one of our mentees, was convinced that she wanted to be a Police Officer,” Baldry said. “She is now attending Santa Rosa Junior College where she is majoring in Law Enforcement.”

The businesses that participated in the Road Map Program during the 2012/2013 school year included:  Aurelio’s Old World Ironworks, SRJC Culinary Program, SRJC Nursing Program, Peterson Mechanical Inc., Sonoma State University Psychology Department, Mac Arthur Place, SRJC Police Academy, and the San Francisco Coast Guard Air Station and diRosa.

If you are interested in giving a tour of your business to mentors and mentees, contact Baldry at 996.6843.