Seeing a child’s face light up with excitement, listening to a teen express feelings, laughing while playing a board game, or discussing future academic goals may all be shining moments of a mentoring relationship, but quality, successful matches do not happen with the wave of a magic wand. Midlands Mentoring Partnership (MMP) exists to ensure quality mentoring matches are taking place throughout the city and that mentoring organizations have the tools to guide quality matches.
Quality mentoring matches involve various parties throughout the duration of a match. The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, 3rd Edition created by MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, has six 6 standards for a quality mentoring program:
- Mentor Screening
- Mentor Training
- Monitoring and Support
Quality mentoring is when youth needing a mentor are recruited, mentors are thoroughly screened, mentors receive at least 2 hours of pre-match training, mentors and mentees are matched based on similar interests, the match is supported by the mentoring agency, the match is monitored through proper data collection, and the match ends with both parties respecting the sacredness of the time together and empowering both the mentor and mentee to move on to the next steps in life. Midlands Mentoring Partnership provides support in these areas for Nebraska mentoring programs with Elements of Effective Practice trainings occurring quarterly.
In addition to support for quality mentoring activities, MMP works with area mentoring programs in a variety of ways. This past August, MMP hosted its first annual mentor recruitment campaign to encourage mentoring in the city of Omaha. MMP is an information hub for support providing local and national resources to mentoring programs. Local and national conferences are attended by partners through MMP conference scholarships to ensure the most current practices for quality mentoring being provided by mentoring agencies.
Quality mentoring is not easy but is necessary to bring the magic of hope, support, and acceptance that comes from a quality, successful mentoring match.