13th Annual Mentoring Conference, Making A Difference Every Day:Program Support in Youth Mentoring

This year's annual mentoring conference, Making A Difference Every Day:Program Support in Youth Mentoring, is gearing up for two great days of education and networking later this week. On Thursday, February 9, conference attendees have a choice of one full-day and four half-day pre-conference courses at the Crowne Plaza Foster City-San Mateo. On Friday, two keynote presentations and a choice of 15 workshop sessions will provide attendees with concrete tools and practical suggestions to easily implement into their new or existing programs, making both attendees and their programs stronger and better able to serve their communities. Our thanks to conference sponsors Oracle, Center for Applied Research Solutions, and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health for making this event possible.

Volunteer mentors often say their motivation is to make a difference in the life of a young person. With proper screening, training, matching, supporting, and retention services, this goal can be achieved. Our theme this year reflects a need for program staff to feel supported and know their work, every single day, also makes a difference.

We're very excited to be featuring Tim Cavell, Ph.D., as the keynote speaker. Dr. Cavell will be talking about two different ways to view youth mentoring: relationship and context. Dr. Cavell will challenge attendees to really assess their mentoring matches as relationships. In an earlier workshop, Dr. Cavell will be sharing some of his own personal experience as a mentor and how it compares to what he's learned as a researcher.

For our morning keynote presentation, we're going to be connecting to the reasons why we all do this work with what is sure to be an emotional and moving experience by the Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble. Volunteers will share their personal stories to be performed by the actors and musician members.

Our other expert presenters come from around the country and will be sharing their knowledge on best practices in a variety of areas, including program design, screening mentors, program logic models, sustainability and collaboration, faith-based programming, and school-based mentoring. We're also excited to feature workshops focused on working with special populations like high-risk black males, system-involved youth, group mentoring, and college-bound mentoring. Youth development sessions will remind attendees about the importance of positive youth approaches, especially when dealing with difficult situations and for youth who are facing serious emotional stressors. Other workshops will help participants transform youth resistance and give adults a better perspective on the impact of technology on youth.

We're also proud to feature several community partners, including VolunteerMatch, KidsData, and TechSoup, to provide information on important resources to help nonprofits do their important work.

Finally, in line with our theme, we have special sessions dedicated to helping program staff feel more support and learn strategies to help make their jobs easier.

Join us for the annual mentoring conference this week for incredible learning and networking opportunities, and to hear more about our 2012 Making A Difference Award winners!


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