Minnesota Mentoring Conference

By The Project Development Committee

Junior League of Minneapolis members of the Project Development Committee had the opportunity to attend the 13th Annual Minnesota Mentoring Conference on October 15th at the University of Minnesota, hosted by Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota.

The day consisted of three key note speakers and workshops ranging from collective impact in action to service learning for youth. It was a great way for the committee members to be immersed in a full day of learning about mentoring as well as being surrounded by those individuals and organizations that live and breathe mentoring on a full time basis.

There were several new learnings from the research that was shared on mentoring, but the biggest take away was around the idea of Collective Impact and how community leaders, government agencies and non-profit organizations need to work together on a strategic level to move the needle in closing the achievement gap at every step of a child’s life. While the idea of Collective Impact seems like a huge undertaking it’s really working in places like Cincinnati with their Strive Together Program. This has been a big focus for Project Development this year as the committee develops new projects like Write to Thrive and HOMES and assesses existing projects. Project Development is working very closely with community partners, AchieveMpls (Write to Thrive partner) and Partnership Academy and GEMS/GISE (HOMES partners) to create projects that best meet the community needs.

Some additional key insights from the conference that will provide guidance specifically in the development of Write to Thrive, include:

  • The most beneficial and successful mentorships have a strong, consistent & positive relationship between the a young person and caring and trusted adult.
  • Several local organizations have existing and successful mentoring models to learn from (Check & Connect, ACES, Kids ‘n Kinship, Connected Kids)
  • There is still huge a need for mentoring and research shows these relationships can significantly impact these children’s lives for the better
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