Youth Mentoring@100%: Innovation 10
Developing the City Dept of Youth Mentoring
The projects presented in the ten innovations areas are all designed to address barriers to vital services. Action teams should review all projects and prioritize those that have the best chance of addressing the barriers identified in the 100% New Mexico countywide survey. Your collaborative and result-focused local work is nothing less than heroic.
Project: Youth Mentoring.10.1
Project 1: The “County/City partnership that funds the Department of Youth Mentoring” project
Elevator pitch: When Eric was just born, his mom should have been able to scan city hall’s website to find all sorts of mentoring programs. She should have been able to see a clearly defined menu item called “Department of Youth Mentorship” right next to the Departments of Police, Fire and Parks. It should not be buried deep in the bowels of the website. It’s a vital, stand-alone department (or should be) and deserves to be treated as such.
Why is this so important? After all, various local mentoring programs are often funded in part by county entities, city entities, foundations, nonprofit organizations or multi-county coalitions. In smaller areas, faith-based groups or nonprofits are the hub for all mentoring. Here’s why: it’s important if this proposed department doesn’t put mentoring supports in place, it should at the very least regularly evaluate the mentoring support needs of its constituents, determine if they are adequate and regularly research innovations. This job will look very different depending on the town; for example, it may just take a part-time city manager a few hours per year in the smallest of hamlets. But it’s important work, and it needs to be done by someone who reports to a person who regularly stands for election.
Potential partners: mayors, city councilors, county commissioners, advocates for parents and youth, public education entities, mentoring agencies, youth development specialists and socially-engaged businesses.
Project: Youth Mentoring.10.2
Project 2: The “convene your fellow mentoring advocates and enhance your skills in public speaking, committee briefing and how to get to a lawmaker” project
This project is a crash course that you develop with local experts about how to contact local and state leaders, give an elevator pitch on your projects, and the protocol for committee hearings that can lead to funding.
Project: Youth Mentoring.10.3
Project 3: The “know your stuff before you meet the mayor” project
Innovation #10, in some ways, is putting it all together. By this we mean that, by the time your action team becomes familiar with all ten innovation areas and their projects, you will be prepared to meet with elected officials and stakeholders to discuss a city strengthening its support of mentoring.
Project: Youth Mentoring.10.4
Project 4: The “create a bold vision and strategic plan” project
This project is focused on creating a new (or improved) local Department of Mentoring. As with previous projects, you will have learned its strengths and weaknesses, potential funding sources, and who the players are. You’ll be in a great position to document what’s great, what needs to be kept as it is or expanded, and what needs to change.