CREED

I will never think less of myself

I will always think about my actions and consequences

I will always realize that I have a choice

I will treat others how I would want to be treated

I will tell at least three people a day something positive

I will take responsibility for my actions & grown from my lessons in life.

~Zbeythapoet

PURPOSE

To encourage positive outcomes for youth and families through mentorship, outreach, supportive resources and development programs.

SERVICES & PROGRAMS

Mentors Roles and Expectations

Our mentors are screened thoroughly, both in terms of safety and suitability for mentoring. Volunteers also complete a written application and in-person interview, and provide references. Our program performs background checks on any person who wishes to participate in our mentoring programs.  It is our policy to provide the most qualified and suitable mentors for our youth while also ensuring their safety to the best of our capabilities.

Applicants are screened for their outlook on the mentoring process. The most suitable mentors see their goal as supporting the child and helping him foster positive relationships in his life, rather than simply achieving good grades or staying out of trouble. They are willing to allow the child to make decisions about activities or lessons, and to refrain from being too judgmental.

David L. DuBois, PhD, Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences within the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago co-authored the report Understanding and Facilitating the Youth Mentoring Movement notes that there are seven features of effective relationships – referred to as the “7 C’s” in DuBois’ presentation. The first two are preconditions of effective relationships:

Compatibility of youth and mentor: Similarities in interests are important, but closeness in age or ethnicity is not. Some youth are also better able than others to benefit from mentoring relationships. 

Capability of mentor: Prior experience in helping roles or professions in areas such as education or direct-service work with youth is helpful, as is sensitivity to the mentee’s cultural and socioeconomic background. 

The other C’s describe the way the relationship functions:

Consistency: Regular meetings are necessary for mutual trust and ease of contact to take root. 

Continuity: The greatest benefits come from relationships lasting at least a year, but the key is meeting predetermined expectations for the relationship length. 

Closeness: Therapeutic qualities such as empathy, authenticity, trust, and collaboration are important, and so is having fun. Negative or disappointing exchanges can easily overshadow the positive aspects. 

Centeredness on youth’s developmental needs: Balance attention to youth’s needs for ownership, autonomy, and input with structure, scaffolding, and guidance. 

Connectedness: Benefits of mentoring accrue, in part, through improvements in the mentee’s other relationships as well – with peers and parents. Mentoring involving several mentors and mentees also shows promise. 

We match mentors and youth on the basis of shared interests and youth, mentor, and family preference. We strive to employ an eclectic mixture of individuals with a variety of interests to better serve our population. All children are different in the way they think, learn and communicate and to be successful in nurturing these children, we need to have a variety of mentors with individual approaches.

COMMUNITY 50/50, Inc. supports mentors throughout the process. Our administrative staff consists of a training coordinator committed solely to mentor development, who will contact the mentor at least once a month. Our programs are collaborations between all involved parties to make sure that lessons and sessions are specific to the child who is being mentored.

Family Engagement Programs

Mentoring sessions involve structured activities, and mentors and youth are equally involved in planning sessions. Examples of sessions include, but are not limited to, social and academic activities, such as going to lunch, attending sporting events, or visiting museums. COMMUNITY 50/50, Inc. strives to broaden the horizons of children and youth by exposing them to varying cultural, educational and social perspectives, events and activities in the community and outside of the normal environment. 

We also focus on physical fitness in youth and families to foster strong bodies as well as minds. Youth are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports,  physical and mental exercise such as Mindfulness activities, while learning the importance of a premium physical health. 

 

LYRICS & BEATS

 

Community 50/50, Inc. has successfully launched the first project.  “Lyrics and Beats” is a critical thinking workshop designed to improve youth’s ability to promote positive thinking through youth on youth interaction and the five elements of Hip-Hop music. Although many mentoring relationships exist between adults and younger people, peer mentors or teen mentors are effective also. A teen mentor or peer mentor is a friendly advisor – more friend than counselor, depending on the mentoring relationship. By inspiring mental growth and developing social skills amongst their peers, the youth have the chance to learn from one another. These workshops utilize the hip hop culture and introduction of others cultures to allow youth and families to explore the meaning of lyrics of hip hop songs, which often have a negative message, while receiving a positive message from the community mentors in the form of substance abuse prevention, abstinence/safe sex, positive coping skills, appropriate decision making and other relevant topics of discussion to promote positive thinking.