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StandUp For Kids Orange County

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy

Location

PO Box 14398Irvine, CA 92623 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Mentoring Project serves homeless and at risk, disadvantaged and homeless youth from 12-18 years
old in either our high school mentoring program, or in our after school program. We believe through providing an encouraging
environment, youth will receive the support necessary to fulfill their potential and take
steps toward building a successful and sustainable future. Our program seeks to create a
framework for positive relationships while fostering effective communication and decision making
skills.

General Meeting Structure:
Our After School Meetings occur on Monday, Wednesday's and Thursdays between 5-8pm during the school year.
The school calendar will be utilized to ensure scheduling around academic workdays,
student holidays, spring breaks etc. In preparation for each mentoring meeting, the
Program Coordinator should review the meeting preparation checklist. Dinner is provided
either by local supporters or by StandUp For Kids.
All students participating in the mentoring program are provided with an explanation of
the program and what to expect. They are asked to sign indicating they understand, and
are given information about whom to contact should they feel the boundaries of the
mentoring relationship have been crossed.
Students come into the center at 5pm and a mentor will check youth in according
to which session they will attend (tutoring/ mentoring). Skateboards, and other scooters
will be left at the desk and can be picked up at the end of the night. Students will be let into
the center in single file at one time and accompanied by two mentors.
Mentor/students will meet in the assigned meeting room/rooms and split into two groups.
Students who need tutoring or homework assistance will work with mentors to complete
the nights work. Those who have chosen the mentoring path will have time to share their
week with mentors, do a skill building activity, set goals for the upcoming week. Mentors
will be provided with a list of conversation topics that they may use at their disposal.
Students are responsible for obtaining their recent grade and attendance reports from the
online portal or from the school to discuss with their mentors/tutors. Mentors will turn in
a summary for their mentees, and a progress report will be prepared by the Center
Manager at the end of every meeting.

In School Mentoring Program

StandUp For Kids recruits and trains volunteer mentors who are matched with high school students identified by the school Social workers as being homeless as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act, defined by HUD, or at-risk of becoming homeless. The pair meet two-three times weekly for lunch at the student's school. These lunch meetings focus around academic success for high school graduation, college/trade school application process and life skills that help kids realize their potential.
The students, with the help of their mentor, set goals. Students are held accountable, week over week to ensure the students stay on track. In addition to the weekly meetings, the mentors reach out to students on a regular basis through the application "Remind", encouraging them to stay focused. These motivational messages provide continuous support to the students, building trust and confidence in the mentor relationship. Achievement of attendance and grade goals are often encouraged with small vouchers to food and clothing outlets monthly. Our students are often one caring adult away from success and our mentors fill this need.

In addition to providing positive adult relationships, the program offers students in their senior year the opportunity to be awarded a scholarship, pending meeting all scholarship requirements. Scholarships are a one-time award that can be sent directly to the student's college or vocational institution to aid in tuition or book payments. Eligibility requirements include consistent attendance to the StandUp For Kids Mentoring Program, answering essay questions provided by StandUp For Kids. This mentoring program provides financial support to homeless and unaccompanied students through emergency assistance empowering them to overcome the odds and graduate high school. This assistance usually covers groceries, clothing, school supplies, and bus passes.

Graduating high school is the first step our students need to take to break the cycle of homelessness. The StandUp For Kids Mentoring Program increases the odds of graduation dramatically, achieving a critical step to keeping these young men and women off the streets

Center and Small Group Mentoring

Many of our locations utilize the in-center - or small group - mentoring model. In these locations, we provide homeless and at-risk young adults ages 18 to 24 with resources and support needed to overcome challenging situations.

Since each youth has a different reason for being on the streets, we work individually to meet each one's specific needs.
Our program not only provides basic necessities such as food, clothing and toiletries, but also engages mentors to assist with educational support, resume and interview preparation, obtaining birth certificates and developing life skills.

Mentors set goals, assign homework and obtain referrals to other professionals who are needed to assist with each youth's specific needs. One of the most important aspects of our program is that goals are set with each youth, with mentors utilized to hold them accountable to achieve each goal.

Through our mentoring program, our Centers provide a safe, welcoming place for homeless youth to seek companionship in a safe space and openly discuss their problems and achievements.

Mentees have the opportunity to receive housing assistance when engaged in our mentoring programs.

Description

The Mentoring Project serves at risk, disadvantaged and homeless youth from 12-24 years
old located in the Tina Pacific neighborhood. We believe through providing an encouraging
environment, youth will receive the support necessary to fulfill their potential and take
steps toward building a successful and sustainable future. Our program seeks to create a
framework for positive relationships while fostering effective communication and decision making
skills.

The mentors should be able to commit to being at the meetings each week. They are there to support the youth and help with homework issues they might be having, while bringing positive and uplifting outlook on education and a successful life. Mentors should have a passion for helping at risk youth, be reliable, keep the youth accountable with their school work or personal goals and most importantly be an example of a healthy relationship.

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