Each week throughout National Mentoring Month, Mentoring USA is highlighting one program site where mentors serve as positive adult role models for youth in New York City.
This week’s featured program site is Good Shepherd Services, where mentors work with youth in foster care, as well as young adults that have aged out of the child welfare system.
Good Shepherd Services is a safe and structured environment that inspires all who work there to be the best they can be. The outstanding Mentoring Coordinator at Good Shepherd Services is Shirley Salomon. Shirley oversees all interns and staff that supervise mentoring groups and trains all Mentoring USA recruited volunteers in the best practices of mentoring youth in foster care. We celebrate Shirley Salomon and all of the supportive staff at Good Shepherd for their continued support and commitment to bringing caring adults into the lives of the youth they serve. Thanks to the efforts of Ms. Salomon, Mentoring USA has been able to serve 60 mentees at several residences since it began in 2013.
Mentoring USA works with several residential sites through Good Shepherd Services, including the Euphrasian Residence and Chelsea Foyer at the Christopher in Manhattan, and the Barbara Blum and Shirley Chisholm Non-Secure Placement (NSP) Residences in East New York.
Mentoring USA mentees from the Euphrasian Residence are adolescent girls ages 14—18 that have been referred by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.
At the Euphrasian Residence, these young women receive a comprehensive psychological, psychiatric, medical, and educational evaluation by professional staff to fully assess their needs and determine the best possible long-term solution for continued care. During a short-term stay, residents attend school on-site, and participate in a variety of therapeutic, social, and recreational activities.
Mentors and Euphrasian Residence mentees meet each week to focus on soft-skill development. Subjects include growth and change, building self-confidence, setting short-term goals, and developing communication skills. This program provides the opportunity for mentees to form supportive bonds with caring adult mentors, and the site-based model employed with Good Shepherd Services allows mentees to take a break from their group home routines.
Chelsea Foyer at the Christopher
The Chelsea Foyer residence provides supportive housing to young adults in their late teens or early twenties that have aged out of the child welfare system, are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness.
Mentoring USA’s mentors and Chelsea Foyer mentees concentrate on building self-esteem, developing time management skills, setting long-term goals, and preparing for future independence.
Mentors from the New York Junior League led activities approved by Mentoring USA and Good Shepherd Services including public speaking, resume writing, apartment- and job-hunting, and entrepreneurship.
Barbara Blum and Shirley Chisholm Non-Secure Placement (NSP) Residences
Mentoring USA’s successful partnership with Good Shepherd Services has prompted expansion throughout the 2014—2015 school year, serving teenage boys and girls from the Barbara Blum and Shirley Chisholm Non-Secure Placement (NSP) Residences.
These Residences provide long-term, residential and supportive services for teens placed in Good Shepherd Services’ care by the Family Court. Part of the New York State “Close to Home” Initiative, youth maintain close connections to family and other positive adults, advance their education, and work with staff to address issues that led to placement, all within a supportive, safe environment. Mentors through this program help mentees with soft-skill development while serving as positive role models that can expose them to new ideas and opportunities.