Today (Saturday) was a full training day. We assembled at 8:30 AM at the Lincoln Center Board Room and began the session with an "ice breaker" to get to know the other volunteers. After the exercise, we participated in several role-playing exercises that reinforced some of the key points in successful mentoring.
We got to hear from some students who are being mentored, veteran mentors and parents and all shared their various perspectives on the program. All of them reinforced the point that getting to know each other was key and engaging the mentee in activities that are fun and developmental is critically important.
We also discussed the importance of race, culture, and class in the mentoring of African Americans and Latino students. To give us a feel of where the students participating in the program live, we took a bus tour of those neighborhoods within Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It was interesting that some who also live in the community were unaware of some of the neighborhoods where there is public and "low cost" (for our community!) housing.
We finish our training on Monday!