Monday, April 7, 2008

Webbing Out

Here I am-yes, speaking on my new-found knowledge of and experience with blogging.

Associate Vice President for the University's Student Success Services Fabienne McPhail Naples welcomed the mentors at each of the two training sessions on April 2. She and the program expressed their appreciation and gave each of us a University coffee mug packed with candy.

Both sessions were well attended and, in my opinion, well received. Many mentors brought questions about the boundaries of the program, anecdotes and success stories, mentoring suggestions, etc.

Specifically, we shared words of inspiration with Dee Hill, an academic counselor at the University speaking about Real World Mentoring: The Challenges and Triumphs of Life.
Then I spoke about the blog with a session titled Webbing Out: On Self-Reflection and Encouragement. I brought along, shared and referred to a current copy of the school's paper, The Nevada Sagebrush, which reported on the many types of social networks and discussed how students like to connect on special interests in an article titled How do you connect? A copy of my blog was printed and made available to each mentor.

Hug High School's Dean Courtney Klaich spoke about Cross-Cultural Mentoring Relationships: Tolerance and Understanding of your Mentee's Background. One of the more controversial issues we may face in this program is the fact of having undocumented students. At Hug High School, there is approximately 60-65 percent Latino Americans, 10 percent African Americans, 10 percent Asian and/or Pacific Islander students and most of the remaining 15-20 percent of the population is White/Caucasian. The Program Coordinator for the University's Center for Student Cultural Diversity Araceli Martinez spoke about the Challenges for Undocumented Students.

Courtney closed the training session with What Every Mentor Needs to Know-Tips on creating safe and trusting relationships: an exercise in patience and communication.
A packet was supplied to all who attended which included a copy of my blog, a recently published mentor article, history and FAQ's about Procter R. Hug High School and the highly coveted Nevada ASCENT Mentor Training Handbook 2008.

Future events and training sessions are in the works-but for now, every mentor is still encouraged to meet with their mentee at least once a month. The end of the semester is nearing and many of them should arrange to sign up for summer school classes.

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