Tuesday, April 7, 2015

This is an old blog for the Fighting Back Mentor Program and is no longer in use. Please visit our wonderful new website for current information about the program. Thank you! www.mentor-center.org

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Clair McCune: June Mentor of the Month!

Join us in celebrating Claire McCune as June’s Mentor of the Month! Claire joined the mentor program in January 2012 after she heard about the rewards of mentoring a child in need through our Mission for Mentors Telethon. Like many of the kids referred to our program, Claire did not feel heard growing up and struggled with peer relations during adolescence, so when she saw the Telethon she felt called to help other youth struggling as she once did. Her experience as educator for more than twenty years, a mother of two grown children, and a child in a large family prepared her to be a creative and compassionate mentor and instilled a desire to help guide at-risk youth in making their own positive decisions.

When it was time to choose her mentee, Claire decided on a seventh grader from La Cumbre Junior High School who suffered from a poor attitude towards life and school, difficulties with peer relations, and who really needed someone that she could trust and talk to. Claire had all the qualities her mentee needed to help relating to her peers and gave her the boost in confidence to be a successful student. Although her mentee had always possessed these inner strengths, Claire helped draw them out by being a friend who listened, cared, and guided her in the right direction.

From the first day Claire and her mentee met it was clear that they were going to be close friends. Not only did they have a lot in common, such as loving the outdoors and a silly sense of humor, but they found out they had very similar temperaments and could instantly relate to each other. Claire could understand how the gossip and teen drama was made her mentee feel negative about being at school and friends in general, and she was able to help her overcome those obstacles and encourage her mentee’s personal and academic growth. Over the last year their special bond has strengthened into a wonderful friendship, and it is clear in the joy they feel in each other’s company that their relationship has positively impacted both of their lives. Today, her mentee is a very social and animated girl who always brings a positive attitude. She is eager to work on academics and has set big goals and accomplished them. Claire is an advocate for responsibility and has taught her mentee how to be accountable for herself, which has helped her become a hardworking student with the desire to learn. Claire is an incredible role-model and we are grateful to have her as part of the mentor program family! Congratulations Claire and thank you for investment in our youth! You truly deserve to be our June Mentor of the Month!!

Learn how to become a mentor like Claire at our website, www.mentor-center.org

Monday, May 20, 2013

April's Mentor of the Month: Molly Alliano

April has come and gone, and a new mentor of the month has been selected. Congratulations Molly Alliano for being our April Mentor of the Month!!
Molly has been matched with her mentee since May 5th, 2009, and they recently celebrated their four year anniversary! We have been so impressed with her dedication to her mentee and the mentor program over the years and are excited to show it. This school year we hosted a total of four mentor trainings, only requiring mentors to attend two out of five; however, Molly has gone above and beyond the required trainings by attending all four of the trainings, including an extra community event held by CADA! Not many mentors do this, so we truly appreciate Molly taking the extra time to seize every opportunity to educate herself, share her knowledge, and grow as a mentor.

When Molly and her mentee first met her mentee was only in fifth grade, and this year she will be graduating from junior high and entering as a freshman at Santa Barbara High School. As many of you might know, junior high is one of the most challenging times for our mentees, and in many cases mentors have to work hard to ensure that their mentee commits to their own success and the mentoring relationship. Molly has done a fantastic job of weathering these difficulties, and throughout her match she has provided her mentee with the resources and skills to ensure she becomes a healthy and productive teen. From helping her with her homework to making sure that she is always prepared for Karate practice, Molly is guiding her mentee through the challenges of adolescence with consistency and grace. On top of her work as a mentor, Molly recently started to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara after attending our Winter Festival in December. We all know that personal “me” time is a precious commodity, and for Molly to give up her valuable time in order to volunteer for not one but several youth programs is truly something to applaud.  This is why we have selected Molly as April’s Mentor of the Month. Thank you Molly for being a fantastic mentor and friend to the youth of our community!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Mentor of the Month: Sally Green

Congratulations to Sally Green, our March Mentor of the Month! Sally has been a mentor for over two years, on our advisory Task Force for nearly as long, and just last month began mentoring a second little girl in Carpinteria. Sally joined our program as a mentor in January 2011 when she retired as the Principal of Canalino Elementary school in Carpinteria. She knew how important mentoring was from seeing it happen at Canalino, and throughout her 30+ years of being an educator, and was excited to give back upon her retirement.
Her first mentee was one of the students at Canalino that Sally personally knew needed a mentor due to her difficult family circumstances. Her mentee was ecstatic to have her former Principal be her new friend and mentor and they continue to have a special relationship today. Sally knew her mentee would need more personal and emotional support, rather than just academics, and has been a consistent friend and confidant throughout the past two years.
With her mentee now in middle school Sally felt she had the time to mentor another child, and just over a month ago was matched with her second mentee, a wonderful 5th grader at Canalino. Sally wanted a mentee who would be open to working on academics and meeting outside of school, and her new mentee is a perfect fit! They spent their first meeting getting excited about all the fun activities and cultural outings they want to do together, including visiting Santa Barbara City College and preparing for her future.
Sally continues to be a great supporter and advocate of mentoring in the community as well as an important member of our advisory Task Force. The program wouldn’t be the same without her insight from the educator’s perspective, and we look forward to many more years of working together. Her dedication to the youth of our community stretches back far beyond her years of mentoring with us, and her devotion to helping her mentees grow and thrive is an inspiration.
Thank you for everything you have done for the mentor program and your mentees Sally! You truly deserve to be our March Mentor of the Month!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mentor of Month: Jim Roehrig

Congratulations to Jim Roehrig, February’s Mentor of the Month! Jim and his mentee David just celebrated their one year anniversary on Saturday. Their story began when Jim heard about our program from a friend and decided he wanted to help make a difference in a child’s life, especially with all the difficulties of growing up these days. As a child Jim was shy, and as a teen he hated school, and wanted to support a child with similar difficulties. Ideally, Jim was looking for a younger mentee who needed emotional support and would be excited to hang out with a mentor at school and off campus. His mentee, David, a fifth grader at the time of their match, fit the bill perfectly. He was very shy and needed help building his social skills and confidence. They also bonded right away over their love of dogs, and David was so excited to take Jim’s dogs on walks together. Since they have been meeting, Jim has been able to give David more than emotional support, but also the structure he needs during young adolescence.

Jim goes above and beyond the 1 hour a week, and meets with David multiple times each week, helping him with homework afterschool and taking him on educational and recreational trips around Santa Barbara. Although there have been challenges, Jim works hard to overcome them and find solutions, and is always the best role model he can be for David. As David grows from a boy into a young man, all of the valuable skills and life lessons Jim has taught him will carry on throughout his life. We can already see the great impact Jim has made when David smiles and looks you in the eyes where he once just stared at his shoes. Jim’s great dedication, consistency, and sense of humor are what have earned him February’s Mentor of the Month. Congratulations Jim, you deserve it!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Valetine Card Soliders

 I found this craft online but I wasn’t able to find the instructions on how to create these awesome valentines cards. So I decided to create them myself and make some instructions for anyone who would like to create these sweet card soldiers.  

 What you will need:

  • Red construction paper
  • Yellow Construction Paper
  • Red Marker
  • Playing Cards or Index Card
  • Goggly Eyes
  • Two Red Pipe Cleaners
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Lollipop (optional)

I didn’t have any extra playing cards so I decided to make my own, which was pretty easy and cost efficient for me. If you would like to use playing cards then that is perfectly fine and will also save you some time.  

 The second step is to make a medium size heart by folding a piece of red construction in half and cutting half a heart out, this will make the perfect heart shape. Make a smaller heart using the yellow construction paper.

Glue the red heart upside down at the top of the card. Afterword’s glue the yellow heart onto the upside down  heart to create the face of the solider. Glue the googly eyes to the yellow heart and draw a nose and a smile.

Cut out two holes at the top of the card and two holes at the bottom of the card. We will use these holes for the legs and hands of the solider.

Cut your pipe cleaners in half, so you have a total of four pipe cleaners. Insert to two of the pipe cleaners at the bottom of the card, folding the ends of the piper cleaner behind your card. Tape the end of the pipe cleaner to the back of the card to secure it in place. At the other end of the piper cleaner, fold it to a 90 degree angle and cut it to make it the foot of the solider.

Insert the other two pipe cleaners to the holes at top of the card. Fold the end of the piper cleaner towards the back of the card just like the bottom holes. I didn’t tape down then so the soldiers could easily move their hands up and down.

Your card solider is now ready for action! I added the lollipop as a staff and a name card incase you decide to use this as a valentines card.

Happy crafting!

Luis Gomez
Mentor Advocate

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Service as a Spiritual Path by Kanta MacDermott

The Fighting Back Mentor Program is a youth prevention program of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.  I became a mentor in this program over four years ago.   My mentee had her ninth birthday a few weeks after we met for the first time. 
She was referred to me by her 3rd Grade teacher who saw that she needed support with her school work as well as with her self-esteem.  At first we met at school during her lunch break and I discovered that she loved to draw and to play card games.  We joined other mentors with their mentees on field trips to the zoo, on the Condor Express Whale Boat and to Zodos’ Bowling.  We baked pies, enjoyed beach outings as well as our personal trips to the Natural History Museum and numerous visits to the local library.

Now in junior high school,  my mentee enjoys her new teenage status and seems a little reluctant to meet with me on campus, so we usually get together on Saturday mornings.  She plays soccer on her school team and displays much more confidence in herself . I look forward to our time together and feel privileged to be part of her life. I was recently invited to her 13th birthday celebration at her grandmother’s home and felt honored to be included in this family event.

I feel blessed to have this young person in my life and this involvement brings me a feeling of service and spiritual nourishment.

If you are interested in being a mentor or know someone who might be, there are currently 82 kids on the waiting list. 
Please contact Ann Cowell, Tel.(805)963-1433 Ex.113 or
 E-mail acowell@cadasb.org

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