Guided Mentoring is a two-tiered approach to cross-age mentoring that fosters mentoring relationships between high school and elementary-aged youth in rural Vermont. The program kicks off with a semester-long mentor-in-training curriculum which prepares high schoolers to be effective mentors and provides a space for them to celebrate their group and self-identities, to develop a robust sense of place, and to explore their role within their homes places—which we think is a testament to all that is possible when relationships are done well.
We envision the program as an exciting leadership and learning opportunity for students, allowing them to celebrate, be empowered, and give back. They’ll have fun, be silly, and step outside of their comfort zones. Along the way, each student will be mentored by their own young adult Guide so they’ll have someone to lean on and learn from, too.
Exploring Who we are Together
Throughout our lives we are mentors, those who provide guidance to others, and mentees, those who learn from and lean on others. Often we are in both roles. It is important for youth to learn when and why to shift between these two roles, and to explore how they can be and bring their authentic selves into their endeavors. Spending meaningful time with peers optimizes this experience.
Be a Mentor & Be Mentored
Explore Your Community
Be a fun, supportive, and uniquely wise presence in a young person’s life and you’ll have someone like that doing the same for you!
Investigate what makes your community unique and special as well as its areas for growth. Consider your place in your community: what change will you make?
Explore, affirm, and celebrate all that makes you who you are!
High School & Student Committment
We ask high schoolers to commit to this program for two years, beginning with the semester-long curriculum, because we know it takes time to build authentic, meaningful mentoring relationships. On a weekly basis, we ask students to commit to approximately three hours of programming. Weekly activities include curriculum exploration, field-based learning, group — or “village”— mentoring, and one-on-one mentoring time with Guides.
To honor this commitment, high school mentors will have opportunities to develop and demonstrate proficiency in Transferable Skills for graduation.
In our partnerships with Vermont high schools, programming will be tailored to meet the needs of every site. Participating in this new and exciting model means co-creating elements in
Mentor in Training Curriculum
In many ways, mentoring will function like an overarching framework or center-point. Creating positive mentoring relationships among the two tiers of mentors and younger mentees is the main focus of the program.
Mentors will understand the role of mentoring and ways that it can positively affect individuals and communities, learning and applying best mentoring practices to their work.
Exploring identity is a critical part of any youth program. The identity theme is the primary place for mentors and mentees to wrestle with challenging issues in a way that helps them develop not only a positive self-identity, but also provides them with a supportive group environment and encourages them to define the community they want to be.
Sense of Place
This theme seeks to help youth develop positive relationships with their home places that they themselves define. Mentors and mentees alike will discover — on their own terms — the assets and opportunities that exist within their own communities. They will not just be able to identify the critical issues facing youth in their community, but also celebrate the community’s strengths and their central roles within it.
Meaning and Purpose
Youth will discover the ways in which their skills, abilities, and interests intersect with broader community needs. They will practice a variety of leadership roles, gaining self-efficacy, and they will interact directly with local people who have found ways to make positive change within their own communities, and who can serve as role models and guides.
Through looking at several different frameworks for understanding social change, what the various roles are within these change models, and how they might be applied to a local community context, youth will develop a shared understanding of how we can define and recognize community needs.
They will envision their present and future roles within their communities, both how they can make their places better and how they can find satisfaction and meaning.
Join Our Program Today!
Interested in bringing Guided Mentoring to your school or joining an existing program? Email Bruce Perlow, Guided Mentoring Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with our team!
The DREAM Program INC. is a 501(c)(3) service organization established in the winter of 1998 and developed as a nonprofit in 2001. Its goal is to bring high quality mentoring and activities to at-promise youth through summer enrichment, academic support, village mentoring, and unlimited adventures.
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