Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ryan and Leo's College Visit

Ryan decided to take his mentee Leo to his alma mater, SJSU! They explored campus, ate at one of Ryan's favorite local spots and got to talk about school. 

Leo is currently in middle school but would be a first generation college student. This was his first time getting to ask an adult a lot of questions about college and picture himself on a college campus. Having a mentor helps inspires youth like Leo to work hard in school and believe in their goals.

Creating Photo Memories

We love seeing how each Friendship decides to experience their year. Mirjam and Sharon make a photo collage to remember each visit!

Here's their collage from the zoo and what they talked about that day. The text reads: "We absolutely cannot change the past. What happened, happened. The quickest path to hopelessness lies in all of the "what if, could have, should have"... that our minds try to trap us in. Don't travel that path. It will never take you where you need to be. Choose to focus on the moment you are in, and make it enough." It is inspiring to see the creativity and wisdom that comes out of youth and adult friendships!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lots of skating and cheer at Annual Friendship Holiday Party

There was a perfect break in the rain for the Friends for Youth Holiday Party, which was held this past weekend at the Winter Lodge in Palo Alto. Thanks to a very generous Emeritus Friendships donor, more than 50 people enjoyed an afternoon of skating, food, drink, and holiday cheer. Mentors, mentees, and their guests took to the ice and then warmed up with hot cocoa and apple cider. Each Friendship also received a special holiday treat. Everyone was in the holiday spirit, and a car full of canned goods were collected and donated to our local food bank. Thank you to everyone who came out to join us!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mentee Evaluation 2.0

In order to gather outcome results on the effectiveness of our program, Friends for Youth conducts both pre- and post-match interviews with our mentees. Our evaluation tool was created in 2000 by Dr. Cynthia Sipes, then of Public/Private Ventures, and measures areas of impact including academic engagement, risky behaviors, positive behaviors, goals, and self-concept. An outside evaluator/researcher provides analysis of our data.

In 2013 Friends for Youth began working with mentoring researcher Roger Jarjoura of American Institutes for Research to update our mentee evaluation tool. This was the first major revision to our youth interview questions since the evaluation project was created. Among the updates are new data metrics on the impact our Mentoring Services program on bullying, both in terms of victimization and aggressive behaviors. In addition, new questions measuring the trust, empathy, and closeness of the mentoring match were added. Following a pilot project testing the new mentee evaluation tool, Friends for Youth began full scale implementation in late 2014, with results of the first group of youth expected to be completed and analyzed next year. 

In the meanwhile, we have a few highlights to share from our 2015 mentee outcome evaluation data.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meet Our New Program Coordinator!

Sarah is a Bay Area native, and recently moved back from Los Angeles. In LA, she worked at a leadership program for underserved youth and coordinated volunteers. She has also worked with food access, employment, and arts programs. Sarah earned her BA from University of Oregon in Planning, Public Policy and Nonprofit Management. As the Program Coordinator, she is excited to use her experience to support great matches and see how they impact each others' lives.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys the arts, traveling, volunteering and spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to meeting and forming Friendships!

Monday, August 3, 2015

This Friendship celebrates highlights of their year!

Mentoring pair Julius and Allan are celebrating one-year of Friendship!

"My mentor has helped me be a better person, be more responsible, and has given me advice. Our friendship is really good, fun, and we have many things in common!" ~Mentee Allan

"My mentee has shown me how to have fun, how to look at things differently, how to be more patient, and how to turn anything into an adventure." ~Mentor Julius

Congratulations Julius and Allan on this significant milestone and thank you for being part of Friends for Youth!

Are you ready to mentor?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

First Friends for Youth Bowl-a-thon brought tons of friends and fun!

On Thursday, July 23, more than 110 bowlers and supporters packed Bowlmor in Cupertino for the first-ever Friends for Youth Bowl-a-thon. The event raised more than $15,000 for Friends for Youth and brought together 9 mentor/mentee Friendships, 6 Board members, and supporters both familiar and new to the organization. 

Groups from Google, Adobe, RSC, and Architectural Lighting Works all helped fill our 14 lanes of fun in the bowling alley. The night included a raffle, a photobooth with props for silly photos, and special Friends for Youth M&M party favors. Teams enjoyed pizza and rang cow bells as strikes were bowled!


Our deepest thanks to the Friends for Youth Bowl-a-thon Committee: Co-chairs Jessica Boisselle-Rairkar and Connie Maurer, Ashish Farmer, Petere Miner, Selim Onal, and Paulette Savage. This group worked tirelessly for months to plan this event, lead our fundraising efforts, and help recruit our bowlers. 

And thank you to everyone who came out to join us and the many who generously donated to make this event a success!

Jez n Friends
Lizbet and Connie's Alley Cats
Jim Prior and Friends
Goofy Goobers
Savage Strikers
Go Adobe
I Can't Believe It's Not Gutter
Always Be Bowling