Monday, April 18, 2011

CPK FUNdraiser Day!

Eat at CPK in Paseo Nuevo on Tuesday, April 26th!! They're open from 11 am to 10 pm!
You have to bring in the flyer below, so please don't forget it!!
20% of your bill will go to help fund the Mentor Program.
Invite EVERYONE you know and forward them this link, or email them the flyer.
Help us provide more youth with a moment to look forward to every week...the moment they first see their mentor's smile :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mission for Mentors Promo

Look for our Promo on KEYT and Join us for the Telethon at Paseo Nuevo on Tuesday, April 12th between 5 and 8 pm.

Fighting Back's PSA, sponsored by Marborg. Mission for Mentors, SPARC Town Hall Event, and Free 4 the Weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Family Event

Bowling at Zodo's!!
Saturday, May 14th
12 noon to 2:30 pm

We will be partnering with Santa Barbara Teen Court to provide you, your mentees, and their families, with the opportunity to bowl to raise support for Teen Court! We are going to have 6 sponsored lanes for a total of 2 hours. You will be able to participate to win awards too!

When you RSVP, please let us know if you want to bowl, or if you just want to come and spend time with us. If you choose to bowl, you will be signed up for a one-hour time slot, so that we can have up to 72 bowlers at the event. Therefore, space is limited, so sign up ASAP!!

And of course, the event is FREE for you all, and food will be provided. If you choose to buy more food and/or refreshments, a percentage of your tab will go back to help out Teen Court, a Mentor Program partner.
We will also have an educational table set up specifically for those associated with the Mentor Program so that you and your mentee and their family can learn about the judicial system, alternatives to entering that system, and how they can become involved in community service with Teen Court.
RSVP no later than Monday, May 9th!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mentors on the Rise...

Staying on task, earning points, rising to the top.
Well, we understand that life is busy, and we understand that it's a pain sometimes to complete the mentor logs and the annual surveys, and it is difficult to want to attend a training after a long day at work, so we want to show you how much we appreciate it when you do. As you do more, you will earn more stars (points/entries), making you a Mentor, or "star" on the Rise!

Therefore, we have established a new program, just for YOU, the mentor. Here's how it works. You will receive stars for tasks completed that may seem inconvenient for you, but really are designed to improve the quality of your mentoring relationships. Every star that is earned within a 3-month time period will equal an entry into a raffle drawing. We will pick at random the winner of that 3-month raffle and the winner will get to choose their prize from the collection we are accumulating. Now, that could be movie passes, free kayaking, restaurant gift cards, etc. At the end of each 3-month period, we will start fresh as far as the raffle is concerned, but we will keep track of the number of stars you accumulate throughout your time with us and we will find a way to acknowledge you.

Mentor Logs
1. Turn it in. If you write 0 hours because you had scheduling conflicts or you don't meet during the summer months because you are school-based, that counts! Award = 1 star

2. Turn it in by the 10th.  Bonus Award = 1 star

3. Turn it in by the 5th. Bonus Award = 2 stars

4. Write in the summary portion. It doesn't matter how much or how little, but know that this part is designed to serve your memory..because we all know that our memories fade over time. It helps to have this to document what you've accomplished with your mentees. You'll notice progressions, trends, etc. Bonus Award = 1 star

On-Going Mentor Trainings/ Mentor Mingles
1. Attend. We design these trainings based off what we hear from you, and well, you guessed it, your logs. We find experts in the fields who are willing to volunteer their time to come and answer the questions and difficulties you face with your mentees. It's important to them, it's important to us, it's important to you and to other mentors. These trainings are also a great opportunity for you to interact with other mentors and ask questions of them. If we cancel the training on our end, and you've RSVP'ed you'll still receive your stars and be notified of the reschedule date. Award = 2 stars

2. Submit questions for the presenter. We understand that we only have these trainings in the evenings, and it's difficult for those of you who work during that time, or who have families to go home to. So submit a question before the training that you would like to have answered by the presenter and we will translate that answer to you. Award = 1 star

Annual Mentor Survey
1. Turn it in. For every year that you complete with your mentee you will receive a survey from us about your mentee. It is EXTREMELY important that you return these to us in a timely manner. The data we receive from this, positive or negative, helps us get our grants to keep the program going...and keep them. Award = 1 star

2. Turn it in within 10 days of receiving it.  Bonus Award = 1 star

3. Turn it in within 5 days of receiving it. Bonus Award = 2 stars

Tell us your story
1. We want to hear it. Let us know how you heard about us, why you became a Mentor, why you continue to be a Mentor, what you've noticed during your time with your Mentee, the funny thing that happened last week...just let us know! Award = 2 stars

2. Submit your pictures. Do you have pictures of you and your mentee? Well, why are you holding them all to yourself?? Share them with us!! Award = 1 star

1. Recruit a new Mentor. Our waiting list is over 90 can see why this is so important. And those of you who have tried, understand how difficult it is for some reason. But you are doing this Mentoring thing for a reason. Go out and share about your experience. Bring others on board. Help us reduce our waiting list of kids and make a huge impact in our community. For every mentor that is matched by you: Award = 10 stars

2. Help us set up a presentation. That can be with your work, service club, HOA, class, religious organization, wherever. Award = 5 stars

3. Be a part of a presentation. If you want to join us at a presentation to an organization to tell your story, please let us know and we will be in touch with you when we have one in your area. Award = 5 stars

Mission for Mentors 2011: Come Say HELLO!!

Tuesday, April 12th
5 to 8 pm
Broadcast live from Paseo Nuevo Mall
on KEYT Channel 3

The Fighting Back Mentor Program is partnering with KEYT TV to host the 14th annual “Mission for Mentors” Telethon! This special event will take place on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Paseo Nuevo Mall Center Court, and is sponsored by Venoco, Inc. and Cottage Health System.

During the “Mission for Mentors” Telethon, community members call in to pledge their time as volunteer mentors for children in our community. The phone number will be available on KEYT Channel 3 during the Telethon. This event reaches hundreds of people in Santa Barbara County and brings in over 4,700 volunteer mentor hours each year.

The Fighting Back Mentor Program is a school-based program that provides a one-on-one mentoring relationship for at-risk youth in South Santa Barbara County. Mentors are paired with 4th through 8th grade students who are struggling with a variety of academic or personal challenges. Mentors help these youth by teaching them life skills that build resiliency, increase self-esteem, and improve academic performance. Furthermore, they give their mentees a feeling of belonging, the comfort of knowing that they are cared about.

Every youth has a talent, a skill, something to offer. We need to step up and show our kids that those skills can be utilized in a positive way. For example, If a child has the ability to persuade their friends to do something, or if they are always trying to argue with the teacher for what they feel is fair, you can help show them the path towards Student Body Leadership or Youth Council. By reaching out to them now, we take away the appeal of gangs, simply because we show them that we care. As a community, we can help foster success for our kids and ultimately, for ourselves.

Mentors are community members like you; retirees, CEOs, students, construction workers, parents, academic advisors, even local celebrities. If you are one who’s saying, “Well, that’s great, but who has the time?” then I have the solution. Call us. We will connect you with a current mentor who has a busy life like you. It’s only one hour a week. We don’t ask you to give up your vacations, we understand that you may be sick sometimes, and that’s all okay. Talk with your company to ask about their policy on employee “flex time”, giving you one hour per week to go to a school to mentor a child. Smaller local companies can thereby give back to the community without spending money.

As stated, mentors meet with their mentees for at least one hour per week at school for one calendar year. National research shows that that youth who have a positive role model are more likely to avoid engaging in negative behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and truancy, allowing them to succeed both personally and academically.

We currently serve over 100 mentoring relationships throughout Carpinteria, Goleta, and Santa Barbara, but the need for more mentors is great. Close to another hundred students are waiting to be matched….will you be one of them?

Special thanks to our onsite photographer extraordinnaire Carolyn Newstrom.

March Mentor of the Month

Jennifer Ramirez
Jennifer and her mentee celebrated a year together last November, and have experienced many wonderful and fun things together. At the start of their first meeting, Jennifer’s mentee was very quiet, kept to herself, and found it difficult to trust. She needed help developing a positive self-image and requested guidance academically.

By combining work with play, Jennifer guides her mentee towards accomplishing the goals they set: to open up with others and perform better at school. Her mentee’s improvement has not only been apparent to Jennifer, but also to her teacher and school; she was awarded January Student of the Month at her school!

Jennifer reminds her mentee that she is a constant support and is there to give her advice, no matter what the topic is. Their discussions have been as silly as getting braces, to more serious discussions about relationships, family, school, and tolerance. Jennifer has been instrumental in easing her mentee’s fears about the upcoming transition to junior high by sharing about her own experiences and memories of that time of her life.

Jennifer has created an amazing and welcoming environment for her mentee and has become one of the few people in her mentee’s life that she truly trusts...and we all know how much this means! We really appreciate all that you do Jennifer! Thank you for being such a great mentor!

Gang Awareness Training

Wednesday, April 27th
6 to 7:30 pm
1111 Garden Street
RSVP to your case manager
by Monday, April 25th

Join Ed Cue, a knowledgeable resource on local gangs, as he walks us through a cultural understanding of gangs, their impact on the neighborhoods, and how you can be a positive influence in your mentee's life so they do not feel the need to personally get caught up in gangs.

Some youth join gangs because they desire to feel like they belong, to feel like their skills and talents are appreciated. You, as a mentor, can be the person who helps a youth develop their skills in a positive way. You can tell them how much you care about them and who they become. You can be the voice that pops into their head when they think about whether or not something is right or wrong. You can take away the appeal of a gang.

Join us for this informative and engaging workshop. If you have questions you would like Ed to answer, please inform your case manager.

Light snacks and refreshments will be available courtesy of the Mentor Program.

Soccer time @ Boys & Girls Clubs

Is your mentee interested in soccer? Well, registration is open for them to join at your local Boys & Girls clubs!

Click for an membership application to the Carpinteria,  Downtown (Eastside) ClubGoleta, or Westside Clubhouse.

As a mentee, they are eligible for FREE memberships to the clubs and scholarships for the soccer seasons. Call to find out more information:

Carpinteria: (805) 684-1568
Downtown: (805) 962-2382
Goleta: (805) 967-1612
Westside: (805) 966-2811
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