About The LIFT Mentor Project

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The Leaders Inspiring Fruitful Tomorrows, Corp. (LIFT) Mentor Project

The LIFT Mentor Project currently consists of three programs: (1) LIFT Mentor Monday, an online campaign where a wide range of social media platforms are used to convey valuable information about leadership, education, life skills, and scholarship, (2) LIFT Panelist Discussion/Group Mentor Program where featured community leaders will lead live discussions about topics that affect our communities and, (3) the Find a Mentor Program where students can link with professionals with similar interests and participate in traditional 1-on-1 mentoring. These programs focus on establishing increased interest in a 4-year college education as well as provide that social network for questions and guidance. Additional attention will be directed to those students with specific interest in future careers in business, medicine, and law.

Mentors will receive annual training through participation in MENTOR (www.mentoring.org) programs and summits.

PROJECT BREAKDOWN:
The LIFT Mentor Project

1. Leaders Inspiring Fruitful Tomorrows (LIFT) Mentor Monday Program

2. Leaders Inspiring Fruitful Tomorrows (LIFT) Panelist Discussion/Group Mentor Program

3. Leaders Inspiring Fruitful Tomorrows (LIFT) Find a Mentor Program

4. National Mentoring Summit Attendance

 

SITUATION:
A 2002 Workforce Study produced by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and Joint Venture found that there was a significant correlation between a student’s social network and their motivation to pursue education and careers in the technology industry.1 “Social networks that bridge across geography, race and class are key to success in the new economy”, says Professor Manuel Pastor, Jr., University of California, Santa Cruz, who has studied social networks in Los Angeles among Latinos. “‘Hard’ skills are essential, but it’s the connections and mentoring that provide information about what skills are necessary and a vision of how acquiring them can lead to new opportunities for all our residents”.  This link between social networks, mentoring, and motivating factors for educational pursuits can be easily applied to careers outside of technology and are essential to improving interest in other career fields.

According to The Mentoring Effect report released in January 2015, 34.8% of youth don’t have a natural or structured mentoring relationship and 37.5% of at-risk youth will never have a natural or structured mentoring relationship. These percentages of void clarify the mentor gap (ie. a disparity in the mentor to mentee ratio).

An analysis of the workforce in Silicon Valley found that a gap of 31-37% existed in high-tech industry demand.1   In this 1999 study, where one of its three hypotheses were that high school students were not well informed about Silicon Valley careers and therefore were not building the skills required, the results of a student survey was published. According to the survey family, media, and advertising played a significant role in informing students about careers. When asked how well they understood a list of careers, lawyer, doctor/nurse, farmer, administrative assistant, and sales/marketing were in the top five. However, when asked how they heard about the careers they marked as “understood well” over 70-percent listed parents/siblings/relatives, while less than 10% of their in-depth knowledge came from career counselors. This highlights the influence of family and community networks in a student’s understanding of a certain career field.

In the absence of knowledgeable parents/siblings/relatives, mentors can make a profound difference in the lives of their mentees — and in turn, strengthen their communities, economy, and country.   We are encouraged to find that young people’s experiences with different types of mentoring relationships provide powerful and complementary benefits. Young people with mentors, especially at-risk youth, have more positive visions of themselves and their futures, and they also achieve more positive outcomes in school, the workplace, and their communities.2

For most children, their birth to age twenty-five support system includes influences from neighbors, family, and a variety of community supports. These key people model education as a path to careers, while opening doors and providing learning experiences as they grow up. The support system for kids in poverty, at least in theory, is different than that for middle and upper income kids. Youth living in neighborhoods of concentrated, segregated, and inner city poverty have less of these positive learning influences (ie. family role models, after school programs, arts/sports/recreation, travel/internet, industry leaders). Along with fewer positive influences, there are far more negative influences in communities with high concentrations of people in poverty, living on welfare, etc.   As a result, youth go to school unprepared to learn and with few adult models showing the value of education for jobs and careers. Schools struggle. High school drop out rates increase with fewer young people going to college and too few of these students actually graduating.

This idea of social networks and “bridging the mentor gap” are the backbone of The Leaders Inspiring Fruitful Tomorrows (LIFT) Mentor Project. One vital category of people working to help children grow up safely, successful in school, and prepared for jobs and careers are mentors. Our programs will intercede on the theoretical3 and proven associated outcomes of insufficient social networks and lack in positive mentoring opportunities.

 

1Joint Venture’s workforce study: an analysis of the workforce gap in silicon valley. Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network (organization), 1999

2William Kooyker, David Shapiro The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring January 2014

3Tutor/Mentor Connection: A Theory of Change proposed by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

 

PRIORITIES:
– Diversify mentoring opportunities

– Increase student access to local/community leaders Panelist Discussion/Group Mentor Program

– Establish/increase mentor community of Northern California (Solano and Sacramento Counties)

– Provide local mentoring opportunities that do not require additional resources for the mentee

– Provide mentoring opportunities in neighborhoods/communities with segregated poverty

– Decrease interest/awareness gap for careers in business, technology, medicine, and law

– Establish concrete funding for related programs

 

INPUTS
– Colleagues/ Affiliate mentors

– Mentor design

– Mentor opportunities

– Mentor training

– Resources to ensure safety of mentees

– Experience

– Funding

 

OUTPUTS OUTCOMES
Activities Participants Short-term Medium-term Long-term
– Mentor Monday (social media)

– Forums/ panelist discussions

– Traditional mentor program

– Interested professionals/Comm-unity leaders

– Middle and high school students

– Parents/Guardians

– Teachers

 

– Access to mentors

-Continuous flow of information

– “Bridging the mentor gap”

– Increased interest in post-secondary education

 

– Increased interest in post-secondary education

– Education planning

– Improved resource management

– Build self esteem

 

 

 

– Increased interest in post-secondary education

– Successful

completion of post-secondary education

– Improved local economy

– Crime reduction

– Work-force diversity

 

ASSUMPTIONS EXTERNAL FACTORS
1. Community interest in designated programs

2. School participation with events and advertisement

3. Funding

4. Community hindrances do not exist

5. Student interest

1. Funding

2. Event locations

3. Advertisement

 

 

PROGRAM EVALUATION PLAN:
– Student surveys

– Long-term college data

– Long-term high school graduation data

– California Community College and 4-year university matriculation data

 

For questions about The LIFT Mentor Project or to find out how you can support our programs, email us at info@liftnpo.com.