Title

Engaging the Disengaged: Developing Rural Teens into Leaders

Location

Scarbrough 4

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Mentoring has many proven, positive benefits for underserved and/or at-risk youth populations. This workshop educates participants on an extremely beneficial and often overlooked version of mentoring: cross-age peer mentoring programs (CAMP), specifically for rural settings. The model presented in this workshop equips youth serving agencies to implement a CAMP that fosters collaboration between community members, families, and schools.

Brief Program Description

Engaging rural youth can be an uphill battle. In this highly interactive workshop, participants will learn proven strategies for developing rural youth into leaders by engaging them as peer mentors. Participants will walk away with practical tips and activities to implement in their specific areas.

Summary

Cross-age peer mentoring (CAMP) has the unique ability to engage teens who typically fall through the cracks, including teens who live in rural settings. In this workshop, participants will learn how to apply research-based best practices in the field of mentoring to a cross-age peer mentoring program in rural settings, resulting in incredible results for both teen mentors and their younger mentees. Using a variety of training strategies, this workshop will showcase an impactful and replicable model specifically designed for school-based settings in rural communities.

Whether brand new to cross-age peer mentoring, or a veteran in the field, participants will walk away with a variety of practical skills, tips and ideas to develop rural teens into leaders. Topics covered include program planning/strategizing, mentor recruitment and training, mentor/mentee matching, and impactful activities mentors and mentees can do together.

Participants should expect a workshop involving practical training, engaging discussions, and interesting activities.

Evidence

Cross-age peer mentoring is new in the overall field of mentoring. Not much research has been done in the field. We use known research and proven best practices. The CAMP model presented is based on research done in the field of mentoring (i.e. Dr. Michael Karcher, Dr. David Dubios, Dr. Jean Rhodes, etc.) and published by a variety of reputable sources (i.e. MENTOR, The Handbook of Youth Mentoring, 2nd edition, etc.). STARS has been implemented in one local rural community for 15 years under a county grant. We have been consistently funded for this program because of the qualitative and quantitative data produced and the support of community leaders, businesses, parents, school administration, students and teachers. The program is considered a part of the community. Outcomes include improved school engagement, full ride scholarships to college for participants, reduction in high risk activities and positive change intentions, knowledge and behavior.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Russel Dains is a dynamic and enthusiastic leader, presenter, and educator. He is passionate about giving students the tools they need to be successful contributors to their communities. He holds a degree in biblical studies, and has over 15 years of experience in working with youth in a variety of settings, including mentoring, youth ministry, and non-profit organizations.

Mary Edet has over 15 years experience in the field of mentoring, particularly in cross-age peer mentoring, beginning as a peer mentor in high school. Now, she is a coordinator of a successful peer-mentor program in Bennett, Colorado, with over 50 participants in her program this year alone. Mary has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is most at home working with students and sharing her love of teaching. She is passionate about empowering teens to make positive choices and develop healthy relationships through education and mentoring.

Keyword Descriptors

rural, mentoring, youth leadership, leadership, peer mentoring

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 2:15 PM

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Mar 8th, 1:00 PM Mar 8th, 2:15 PM

Engaging the Disengaged: Developing Rural Teens into Leaders

Scarbrough 4

Engaging rural youth can be an uphill battle. In this highly interactive workshop, participants will learn proven strategies for developing rural youth into leaders by engaging them as peer mentors. Participants will walk away with practical tips and activities to implement in their specific areas.