International Mentor Training

The Mentoring Institute is back from six days of training an amazing group of caring professionals, teachers, and parents about mentoring in the Caribbean island of St. Maarten! Nicole Francis, the founder of Victorious Living Foundation, started her organization in 2002 and has been an attendee at several of our annual mentoring conferences. We have been trying to coordinate a special training for her mentors and other partners who work with youth in her area for several years and this past August, if finally happened. Thanks to the generosity of several key collaborators, VLF held a two-day Mentorship Symposium led by myself and another mentoring conference presenter and MI consultant, Stephanie Inyama. Through these two days, we addressed
  • the foundations of mentoring and related theories
  • Evidence-Based Practices, Promising Practices, and Recommended Best Practices
  • mentoring impacts and outcomes
  • positive youth development and youth culture
  • the needs of St. Maarten youth
  • a Community of Caring approach
  • mentor screening and monitoring
  • mentor training
  • program evaluation
  • mentoring activities
  • confidentiality and child abuse reporting
  • mentoring relationship closure
Additionally, on the third day, we held a community session at a local youth center, where several young people, both in the mentoring program and not currently enrolled, shared their thoughts on what life is like for them. Stephanie and I both agreed that this was an unusual training - participants truly seemed engaged and excited to move forward with a large-scale collaborative effort to better connect with and inspire a generation of youth facing numerous (and familiar) situations. Several participants shared during the training that they had forgotten their own memories of what it was like to be a young person and nearly everyone committed to doing more to change their community for the better.

I was truly inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of 150 adults in a small community - sometimes, that's all it takes. Thanks, VLF and St. Maarten for your hospitality and I look forward to seeing positive changes soon!


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