A young man is one mentor away from being a success story!
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had positive influences in their life. I don’t care what you do...if you do it well there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” – Denzel Washington
What is the Boys to Men Series?
The Boys to Men Series is the "showing them with way" element of the Real Men Mentor Initiative. Real Men Mentor seeks to recruit and engage men in one-to-one mentoring relationships with vulnerable boys and young men who need and want consistent male role models in their lives. The Boys to Men series are the experiences that will help the mentor/mentee relationships grow.
The series has three important elements- 1) engaging a broader network of successful males to share their stories and offer support, 2) unique opportunities for self-reflection and exploration that can be used as a guide for the match over a 9 month period and finally, 3) alot of fun!!
Each session will be held at a different location in the immediate Quad Cities area. The series will officially launch on January 2022 and continue with one session each month A list of session sites and dates will be provided as we build the series. We anticipate most sessions to be held on Saturday mornings from about 10AM to 1PM. However, there may be weekday evening and other weekend opportunities available as we expand our network and connections.
Pillars of the Boys to Men series
We have recieved feedback from a number of current matches as well as community leaders and young people. The sessions will be fast-paced and engage community leaders and field experts who will share their stories. We also expect small group and community networking for be an important part of the experience.
The Four Pillars are:
Decisions that matter- the power of choices
A World of Opportunity- building locks to life and career success
Sessions are expected to include at one or more of the following: 1) a keynote speaker, 2) breakout sessions lead by community leaders, 3) small group discussion and goal-setting sessions, 4) hands on activities/experiences, 5) welcome and tour of the host facility, 6) great give-aways and gifts, and 7) food and refreshments.
Mentors serve as a support system for the mentees and help them apply the session themes to their life. The experience will result in a number of opportunities to help the mentee build assets, a stronger network and motivation to achieve success.
How Do I Become Involved?
The first step is to complete the above inquiry form. A member of our team will reach out to you to answer any questions you might have and explain how the process works.
Volunteering for this initiative requires a commitment to: 1) complete the enrollment and orientation process, 2) attend series events with your mentee, and 3) maintain consistent contact with your mentee for 12 months.
- Enrollment/orientation process- BBBS facilitates the enrollment and orientation process. Through this process, you will gain a deeper understanding of your role as a mentor in the program. The process covers boundaries, expectations, communication, and tools to be effective with your mentee. You will gain an understanding of how and why you are matched with a particular child and how to maintain effective communication with them and their parent/guardian.
- Attend the Boys to Men Series- Mu Chi Lambda Chapter members and their community network will facilitate the series. It will be a great opportunity to learn more about your mentee through the interactive experiences. Each "match" will also be is assigned a Mentor Coach by BBBS, who helps navigate the logistics and development of the match and provides support and resources to grow the relationship.
- Continuation of the match following the series- your experience in the Series will provide great insight into your mentees hopes and dreams. Through the small group and independent activities, you (and our committee) will gain insight into areas of interest and possibly resource challenges that might be hindering their success. Together we will best position the mentee for academic, social and economic success. In addition, the partnership will coordinate activities and experiences for the group of and individual matches throughout their time together.
I thought it was me against the world...then one day I realized...it's just me against me. --Kendrick Lamar
Q: Can a current match attend this series?
A. Yes, be on the lookout for information from your match coach if your match is a candidate for this series.
Q. Am I matched with the same young person throughout the experience.
A: Yes, the volunteer is "matched" with the young person for a 12 month commitment.
Q: Is there a cost to the volunteer to participate?
A: No, there is no cost to enroll or participate in this program. All Boys to Men experiences are expected to be free and include food. However, mentors are known to spend money on other activities they do with their Little, such as food or tickets. BBBS will provide no cost or low cost activities and experiences throughout your time matched (in addition to the Boys to Men series). BBBS also has special funding in place to assist mentees with the costs associated with pursuing an area of interest, such as: sports teams and equipment, music lessons and equipment and memberships and classes for art and theater interests.
Q: How will my young person be selected?
A: The volunteer, young person and parent/guardian complete an enrollment process that allows the organization to understand each participant and their goals and preferences in a match. The professional staff provide a match profile and recommendation to the volunteer and parent/guardian for review. The staff provide details of the potential match and answer questions that might arise. If the volunteer, young person, parent/guardian are comfortable with the recommendation, a introduction of the match will be made at the first Boys to Men session.
Q: How much time will this require?
A: The enrollment and orientation process takes between 2-3 hours. You schedule this part of the process for a time that is convenient for you. We do offer day, evening and weekend options. Once matched, you are expected to maintain consistent contact with your little on a monthly basis. Contacts should include at least 2 in-person activities a month. The activities can be attending the Boys to Men series, other BBBS sponsored activities, or activities on your own. It is recommended that you plan 2-4 hours for each activity.
Q: Am I expected to attend all Boys to Men sessions with my mentee?
A: Yes- if you attend a Boys to Men activity, it must be with your little. You are NOT expected to attend ALL Boys to Men series offerings as part of your commitment as a mentor.
Q: What am I expected to do with my mentee in addition to the series?
A: The series is intended to assist the match in building a trusting relationship and hopefully ideas and goals they can do together after the series concluded. The important thing is to be present for your little when you're together. It isn't so much about the time as it is about what happens and the conversations, support and lessons learned during your time together. You are not expected to plan extravagant outings or projects. We encourage you to think about your everyday routines, interests and hobbies and how can you incorporate your mentee into these interests. You also have a deeper knowledge of your mentee from the series and together you can determine activities and experiences to do together.
BBBS and Alpha Phi Alpha plan to provide numerous resources and gathering activities that you can use and attend. Examples are free memberships to area Ys, RIFAC, Putnam and QC Botanical Center for you and your mentee, free tickets to sporting events and concerts throughout the year, planned workplace and career exploration opportunities for small groups, and social gatherings.
Q: How active is the parent/guardian in the match process?
A: The parent/guardian is very active in the process. They complete an enrollment and orientation process that helps set the expectations for their role in the relationship. They are expected to be open and honest with the mentor and Match Coach throughout the match, be accessible and work constructively with the mentor and match coach to facilitate consistent time for the mentor/mentee to spend, and also provide updates on the mentees home and school performance and emerging concerns and opportunities.