January 2011

Save the Date: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service

President Obama on MLK Day of Service 2010Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by giving back to your community on January 17. It’s not too late to plan a service project along with the young people in your program. Go to http://mlkday.gov, where you'll find action guides, tips and tools.

January Is National Mentoring Month

How many mentors does it take to change a life?

mentor and mentee sitting on a picnic tableIt takes just one mentor to change a young person’s life. NCFY recommends the following ways youth workers can celebrate National Mentoring Month: 

Primary Sources: Strengthening Families to Help Young People Overcome the Effects of Parental Incarceration

"Parental Incarceration and Multiple Risk Experiences: Effects on Family Dynamics and Children’s Delinquency" (abstract), Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 39 No. 12, December 2010.


What it's about: Are young people who have a parent in prison more likely than their peers to land in prison? That's what some research has found, but this new study paints a more complex picture. 


Primary Sources: Striking the Right Balance for Effective Mentoring Relationships

Youth mentoring with a balanced focus, shared purpose, and collaborative interactions” (abstract), New Directions for Youth Development, Vol. 39 No. 12, December 2010. 


Why read it: Great mentoring relationships include a mix of structure and spontaneity. But how do you know how to achieve the right balance? This article provides a framework that organizations can use to help guide mentors and mentees in planning activities. 


Right on the Money: The Corporate View of Charitable Giving

Photograph of cash falling from the top of a skyscraper.“Corporate giving” is the kind of term that intimidates many nonprofits, particularly small or new ones. But with a little research and preparation, you might find that businesses can become some of your most dependable and valuable partners. 

Mural Entries Due January 31

Want to make your space brighter and showcase the creativity of your youth? Looking for an engaging life skills activity with a real reward?
Enter your young people in the Family and Youth Services Bureau's Runaway and Homeless Youth Mural Contest and they could win the materials to paint a mural in your program.

Federal Website Seeks Youth Voices

FindYouthInfo.gov seeks submissions from young people on topics they’re concerned about, such as dating violence, youth homelessness, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, bullying, education and careers. Youth can write short pieces of 300 words or less or submit a short video clip. Accepted pieces will appear on FindYouthInfo.gov as part of a new series called Youth Voices.

On MLK Day -- and Every Day -- Young People Can Be Great by Serving

Guest post by Curtis O. Porter, director, Division of Youth Services, Family and Youth Services Bureau

MLK Day of Service logo

Rev. Ed King, a leader in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (and no relation to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), said 

When nobody else is moving and the students are moving, they are the leadership for everybody.

One Mentor’s Take: How Mentoring Programs Can Support New Matches

It's not enough to match young people in at-risk situations with caring adult mentors. Research shows that for mentoring to have a lasting impact, the one-on-one relationships need to have staying power. But mentoring matches are made by well-meaning strangers -- because that’s what program staff are, essentially. And even with interests in common, new mentors can struggle to make their tenuous connections with mentees blossom into real, organic relationships.

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