- 11 Dec 2019
Building Balanced Individuals Through Afterschool Mentoring Programs
When it comes to after school activities for teenagers, there are a wide range of resources and strategies to encourage and promote emotional, physical and social development in teens. Mentoring is one such program type that is known to make a very positive impact in the lives of students.
Need for Mentoring Programs
After school activities for teenagers – such as mentoring programs – provide positive effects for participants, which, in turn, is beneficial to the family and the community. Mentors play a vital role in keeping students away from violence, substance abuse and support conflict resolution. Whether it’s in a one-on-one format or a group setting, teens often need someone who they can trust and who will give them a listening ear. Very often, teenagers may be hesitant to talk freely with their parents or siblings for fear of being judged or ridiculed. Alternatively, parents may be preoccupied with work or may not have the required academic skills to help their teens in specific areas of their interest. In such cases, a mentoring program offers a safe environment where students can speak to an adult who is trained and ready to listen.
Key Ingredients of a Good Mentoring Program
Teenage mentoring programs in Chicago are designed in a professional and constructive manner. Most often, a mentoring program starts with needs assessment to identify gaps in the child’s academic, social or emotional framework. Mentors may communicate with parents, friends, siblings and teachers, in order to fully understand problem areas in the teen’s life. All information is kept confidential in order to build an atmosphere of trust and dependability. Mentors and students are encouraged to be honest with each other and fully commit to this collaborative relationship. A good mentoring program is also dynamic and flexible and has the ability to redefine itself based on changing needs. Goal setting is another important aspect as it sets up expectations and ensures accountability.
Benefits of Mentoring Programs
Firstly, effective mentoring programs, help students and teens develop self–esteem and confidence thanks to enhanced academic performance improved social skills.
Secondly, mentoring builds stronger relationships between individuals and the community thanks to improved communication skills.
Thirdly, mentoring helps students work towards achieving targetd goals thanks to improved time management, problem solving, negotiation, and teamwork skills. These personal changes become hugely meaningful when it comes to securing employment opportunities later in life.
Fourthly, teenage mentoring programs in Chicago can help teens deal with different transitions they experience, both physical and emotional. They learn to face stressful situations and maintain healthy relationships.
Fifthly, mentorship helps students have more confidence in their own ideas, strengths and abilities.
Finally, teenage mentoring programs in Chicago lead to the creation of a wide network of interested individuals – for both the mentor and the mentee.