On Thursday, August 6, Get IN Chicago kicked off its yearlong commitment to technical assistance for mentoring programs with Illinois Mentoring Partnership (IMP).  Over the coming year, IMP will provide one-on-one consultations and professional support to staff from Alternative Schools Network, KLEO, The Chicago Urban League, UCAN, Westside Health Authority, and more.

At the kick-off, Cheryl Howard Neal of IMP emphasized the need for solid mentoring practices in addition to strong relationships between mentors and mentees.  “When mentoring is not done well, it sets kids back,” says Howard Neal.  “Kids think, ‘This is one more person who is not interested in me, who is going to bail on me.”

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GIC Director of Programs Lisa Moultrie (left) and Cheryl Howard Neal 

Howard Neal also stressed the importance of using mentoring approaches that “move the needle” and create demonstrable change – typically interventions combining trust, respect, and solid programming.  At Thursday’s session, she centered the discussion on tips for program administrators, from mentor recruitment and retention to best practices.

Before the school year starts, IMP will provide specialized training to GIC program mentors as well as working with administrators to fine-tune their program models.  Read on to learn about questions raised at the latest session, and check back later in the year for more tips gleaned from the continuing trainings.

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