Our mentoring programmes are designed to support and guide our youth in their life journey, imbuing them with invaluable life skills that will stand them in good stead for the future.If what they see is what they will be, we see it as our responsibility to help them find and follow the good path.
What is Mentoring
Mentoring in fact originates from Greek Mythology when Odysseus left a friend called Mentor in charge of his household whilst he was off fighting at Troy. Mentor acted as a teacher and guide to Odysseus’ son during his absence.
A Mentor, therefore, is best described as someone (usually older but not always) with greater knowledge and experience who advises and guides another (usually younger) less experienced person (the mentee), using the benefit of that greater knowledge and experience to help the mentee achieve his or her aims.
We recognise that there are competing influences in the hearts and mind of our youth, but that given the right guidance from positive adults, our children can and will blossom and flourish to become a great credit to the wider community.. 100 Black Men of London
A mentor can be many things:
- Listener and Sounding Board
Though a mentor may be a role model, a true mentor does not ask the other person to ‘be like me’. Instead a true mentor takes the mentality of ‘I will help you to become whomever you wish to be’Mentoring happens in all walks of life from an older sibling nurturing his or her younger brother/sister, to a long-serving employee helping a newer employee settle into the workplace (as Michelle Obama did to Barack Obama when they first met at a Law Firm).
It is a process that rewards both mentor and mentee because the mentor gains from the act of giving and the mentee benefits from the wisdom of another person.
The challenges for a mentor is to learn and understand how to help the mentee find his or own way, answers and solutions. A mentor should not simply solve problems for the other person, since that in itself defeats the purpose of mentoring, which is to teach and help the other to make his/her own choices.It is a special relationship of mutual trust and confidence and one that must be properly nourished and protected by both parties. Through mentoring, especially on life-skills, a mentor can help a mentee to blossom.
Mentoring the 100 Way
In the 100 Black Men of London we do our mentoring ‘˜The 100 Way Across a Lifetime’This means that we have certain principles and beliefs that guide the particular mentoring service that we offer to the community.
We have identified mentoring as a particularly important service in demand because we recognise the particular pressures and difficulties facing young black children (meaning children of African and Caribbean descent) in London today.
We offer a ˜Group Mentoring” programme, which means that our mentoring is primarily delivered in weekly or bi-weekly sessions with a number of men and women mentoring a group of young mentees.
Although we also maintain one to one individual contact between the sessions, this is primarily to give mentees a chance to clarify points raised during the group sessions.
If you are more interested in individual one to one mentoring, please feel free to contact our mentoring team at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will direct you to other organisations that cater for individual mentoring requirements.
We call all mentees, who join our programme our “Diamonds”. This is because we recognise that every single child has a light and sparkle inside of them and it is our job to uncover that light and help it to shine.
When a young person joins our programme for the first time, he or she will become a “Rough Diamond”. As he or she progresses through the different levels of our programme over the years he/she will rise to become a Bronze Diamond, Silver Diamond, Gold Diamond, Platinum Diamond, eventually becoming a Peer Mentor, which is our highest level graduate programme where our Diamonds are trained to become mentors to their own friends and peers, thus turning them into great leaders and positive contributors to society.
What our Mentors will do
- We will always be there on time for every single session, no matter what, whether our Diamonds turn up or not. We have a passionate commitment to what we do that will not waiver.
- We will encourage our Diamonds at all times.
- We will focus on the positive with our Diamonds and challenge stereotypes and any conventions that undermine self-esteem.
- We will show respect to our Diamonds and their parents/guardians and we will insist that others in our sessions do the same.
- We will not preach to our Diamonds or tell them what they must or must not do. But we will help our Diamonds to understand the effect and consequences of any actions and decisions they wish to take.
- We will give our Diamond assignments at the end of each session to be completed before the next session.
- We will listen to and try to understand and emphasise with our Diamonds.We will tell our Diamonds if we dislike their behaviour at any point, but we will never tell them or make them feel we dislike them as an individual.
- We will help our Diamonds define and work to achieve their goals.
- We will teach our Diamonds the value and importance of punctuality.
- We will teach our Diamonds the value and importance of perseverance.
- We will keep any promises we make.
What a 100 Black Men of London Mentor is Not
- A 100 BMOL Mentor is not:
- A substitute parent – we very much believe in a three part structure with the mentor, the mentee and the parent/guardian as the three elements of that structure. Our mentors, therefore, cannot replace the role of the parent.
- A social worker – there are very different and important skills to social care and this is not the role of a mentor
- A financier – our mentors do not provide financial assistance to parents or mentors. This alters the whole basis of the relationship and undermine the mentor’s primary purpose, which is to guide.
Ending the Mentoring Relationship
- Eventually, whether it is at the end of one programme or after several years going through all the levels of our programmes, our mentoring relationship with our Diamonds will end.
- We will ensure that this is done in a careful and formal way so that our Diamonds understand the lessons and values they have learnt from the relationship and the importance of applying them through the rest of their lives.
- Our mentoring programme is free to all users although we do encourage parents/guardians to make donations to our programme through our standing order ‘Friends of the 100’ scheme.
- All our mentors go through our training process to ensure the quality of the mentoring delivered.
- All our mentors are CRB checked.
Rough and Gold Diamond Programme
The first entry level of our Community Mentoring Programme is the Rough Diamond level.
Entry is open to all girls and boys of African and Caribbean descent, between the ages of 10 â€“ 15 as at the 31st December in the year the programme starts.
We currently run programmes in both North and South London.
The North London programme has been based in the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham previously but is sometimes based at other venues.
The South London programmes has been based in the South Bank University Centre in Elephant & Castle but is sometimes based at other venues.
Our programmes run every two weeks on a Saturday between 11am â€“ 1pm. We always start and finish on time however, many Diamonds attend.
There are 13 sessions usually beginning in November and concluding in June (roughly in line with the school year).
The sessions include:
Introduction: We outline the nature of the programme, what we expect from you, what you can expect from us
Self Identity: We look at the different elements that make up a personal self identity (self knowledge, self image and self esteem), in particular how high self esteem gives a solid foundation,whilst low self esteem can undermine your life.
Effective Expression: helping our Diamonds to understand how to Â communicate in a way that will make them heard, understood and respected
Peer Relations: looking at the power and influence of peer pressure (both positive and negative) and how to be a leader to your peers
Family Roles & Responsibilities: examining the different elements of a family and the part each person plays
Health & Wellbeing: focusing on nutrition, exercise etc
Goal Setting: understanding goals, how to set proper goals and how to achieve them
Guns, Knives & Violence: examining the nature of violence, its impact and consequences and how to stand against it
Drugs & Substance Abuse: understanding the nature of drugs & addiction, its impact, and how to avoid
Future Forecasting: how to look into the future to predict the path of your life and make the changes now to lead to a positive path
At the end of each session, a Diamond of the Day is chosen, usually by their peers and rewarded (usually with a book token).There are assignments at the end of each session, to be completed before the next session and at the end of each session an â€˜Assigment of the Dayâ€™ is chosen and rewarded (usually with a book token).The final session is an Evaluation, when all Diamonds will be assessed to ensure they have taken on the learning objectives of each of the sessions in the programme.
Graduation depends on the achievement of certain criteria. Firstly, the Diamond must attend and participate in at least 75% of the sessions. (ie 10 out of the 13 sessions) Secondly, the Diamond must complete 75% of his/her assignments. Thirdly, the parent/guardian of the Diamond must attend 2 out of the 3 parent sessions.
The graduation ceremony takes place at the conclusion of the programme, usually in July or August.
Mentees, who joined as Rough Diamonds will graduate to become Bronze Diamonds.
All Bronze Diamonds, who wish to go on with the programme will go through the same programme for a second time, but this time with greatly added responsibilities. Apart from displaying greater knowledge of the topics, they will also be expected to assist the mentors with registration, collecting of assignments, choosing a˜Diamonds of the Day, leading on role plays etc.
Mentees, who were Bronze Diamonds, graduate to become Silver Diamonds and are eligible to join our Youth Leadership Academy.
Youth Leadership Academy (YLA)
The YLA was established as a key plank of our Mentoring the 100 Way programme in 2006. The YLA builds on the modules looked at during the Rough/Bronze level with a firm emphasis on developing the leader within of each of the young people attending and encouraging them to apply newly acquired leadership skills to a variety of situations in which they occupy on a daily basis and share the learning with their YLA peer group.
Diamonds on this programme must be between the ages of 13 to 17.
Topics and issues discussed are much more for grown up, including Home Life, Money Management and Cash Flow and Street Life with the Diamonds given much more time and space to discuss issues in depth.
With the unfortunate prevalence of youth underachievement and youth crime, it has never been more important to inculcate a sense of responsibility and leadership in our youth and the YLA aims to do just that.
Peer Mentoring Programme (PMP)
The PMP is our highest level programme that is focused on helping our Diamonds develop into Mentors to their own peers.
The programme is open primarily to those Diamonds that have passed through our Youth Leadership Academy, but depending on our resources, there are also a limited number of places for other young people between the age of 16 to 18 (as at 31st December).
Through the course of the programme, Diamonds will learn the principles of mentoring in a careful and structured format with the ultimate aim of turning them into mentors themselves. The programme follows a simple but effective process:
- I do, you watch
- I do, you help
- We do together
- You do, I help
- You do, I watch
Through this process Diamonds move from watching other mentors and learning the principles and practice of mentoring to actually doing the mentoring themselves whilst others watch.On graduating from this programme, Peer Mentors will then join the Rough/Bronze programme as mentors themselves thus creating a self reinforcing positive cycle.