“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them
in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
-Steven Spielberg
PS 154 Mentees and Mentors

Changes in family structure and neighborhood networks have increased the time youth are spending unsupervised. More and more young people are facing pressures and risks alone. We are living in a time of great turmoil, great change, and great opportunity.

Mentoring has the potential to free youth to realize the dreams and opportunities that they were born to fulfill. Mentors become the resource for young people to handle tough decisions and become a sounding board for their ideas.

Your mentoring program year has hit the midway mark! Spring is around the corner and as we move into the next half of the mentoring year, program activities will continue to affirm the significance of your Mentee relationship.

Thanks for volunteering with Mentoring USA!

Mentoring USA Team

Mentor Tip: Maintaining Effective Communication

Good communication is a key element of any relationship and a mentoring relationship is no exception. To help open up the conversation with your Mentee, we’ve provided a few helpful tips.

  • Avoid unsolicited advising, and allow youth to actively problem solve
  • Build off your knowledge of your Mentee’s strengths to foster deeper discussions
  • Be sure to celebrate the small milestones and give positive feedback.

Sometimes there might be discussions that you find difficult or situations that make you feel uncomfortable.Remember, Mentoring USA has created boundaries or guidelines to help you. Here are some sample responses to help you through awkward situations:

  • Your Mentee gave you a big bear hug.
    • If you’re comfortable, hug back using a side hug. If not, consider saying “Thanks for the hug. I’m not much of a hugger (big smile), so I’d like to stick to nice words or a handshake!”
  • Your Mentee asked you a very personal question.
    • “I’d prefer to keep that topic off limits between us.”
  • Your Mentee told you about a serious problem they are having.
    • “I’m glad you trusted me enough to share that with me. You know I care about you, and I want to help you find someone who can help you with this.”

*Photo Left: “I Have a Dream Foundation PS 7
*Photo Right: Bank of America Corporate Mentoring Program

Mentoring USA Program Highlights

The endless snowstorms did not hamper mentoring programs this past month.

  • The East Bronx Academy boys practiced knotting ties with their Mentors at “Tie to Mentoring Day”.
  • Newark Eagle Academy for Boys enjoyed  a day at a live WWE event in Rutherford, N.J.
  • The boys from S.I.M.B.A experienced “A Day of Mentoring” at NY Technical College in Brooklyn.
  • New York Junior League Mentors hosted an evening of karaoke for their Mentees.
  • Random Acts of Kindness were shared between Kenneth Cole Productions employee Mentors and Mentees from PS 111.
  • The children at Stanley Issac-Beacon Community Center showed off their creativity with a talent show featuring magic, puppets, singing, dancing and skits.

*Photo: Kenneth Cole Produtions Corporate Mentoring Program

Mentor Highlight: Marc Weuker

East Bronx Academy
Mentor since 2013 
“The mentoring experience has provided me the opportunity to interact with many Mentees in group activities as well as meet and interact with a varied group of educated and caring Mentors of all backgrounds.  I taught Middle School in NYC for 33 years but being a Mentor is different. I was able to develop a bond with my Mentee and provide him with the opportunity to talk about school and home life with an understanding adult that could empathize and offer advice when appropriate. It has been a rewarding experience. To be a Mentor you need to be prepared to commit to the program for a year, and give of yourself without expectation or reward. If you can do the above, the experience will be its own reward.”

MUSA Reminders

  • Visit the Mentoring USA Facebook page to view pictures from January’s Mentor Mingle.
  • Are you 55 or over? Learn about benefits available to Mentoring USA volunteers through the National & Community Service Corp. Contact Yvonne ypena@CSSNY.ORG or Jane atrecruitment@mentoringusa.org for additional information.
  • Long Beach School District & Mentoring USA are partnering in an after school program for Middle School students. Mentors are Needed! Contact Jane atrecruitment@mentoringusa.org to learn more.