Oklahoma Mentoring Programs Implement Mentoring Central’s Mentor Trainings

Posted by eporter on June 28, 2024

Oklahoma Mentoring Programs Implement Mentoring Central’s Mentor Trainings

iRT is excited to announce that it is collaborating with the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) and the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY) to implement and evaluate Mentoring Central’s training programs and mentoring resources in mentoring programs across Oklahoma.

Mentoring Central, a division of iRT, is dedicated to providing mentoring programs with trainings and tools to enhance their programs and help matches achieve better outcomes. Receiving feedback from and working closely with mentoring programs across the nation that have unique goals and serve diverse subpopulations of youth is an integral part of achieving this mission for Mentoring Central. Mentoring Central has partnered with the OJA and the OCCY not only to support organizations in Oklahoma as they deliver impactful training experiences to mentors working with special populations of youth but also to evaluate how Mentoring Central’s trainings impact mentors in terms of their readiness to mentor as well as their skills in supporting the hope and resilience of mentees. This important work will help Mentoring Central refine our trainings and tools to maximize the positive impacts that they have on matches.

All mentoring programs in Oklahoma implementing Mentoring Central’s trainings as a part of this project serve mentees who are involved in the juvenile justice system and who could benefit from a mentoring relationship. Mentors who are supporting this subpopulation of mentees need high-quality training on a variety of mentoring topics to form close, long-lasting, impactful relationships with their mentees. Mentoring Central has been working closely with the OJA and the OCCY to determine which web-based and instructor-led trainings developed by Mentoring Central to implement in Oklahoma programs, according to these unique needs of their mentors and staff. In addition, Mentoring Central has been providing support to the OJA and the OCCY for smooth administration of Mentoring Central’s products and developed a custom training login page for mentors that reflects the logos and color palette of the OCCY and OJA.

Over the course of a year and three months, Mentoring Central will collect feedback from mentors in Oklahoma using our mentoring trainings to evaluate how the web-based and instructor-led trainings impact mentors’ knowledge about mentoring topics, confidence in their abilities to mentor, and satisfaction with the trainings. Findings from this evaluation will not only provide insight to Mentoring Central in the development of resources for mentoring programs but may also encourage potential mentors to pursue volunteer opportunities in a mentoring program. For example, some mentors may not feel confident in their abilities to support justice system involved youth as a mentor. By taking training that has been proven to increase mentors’ confidence in their abilities to mentor and/or knowledge about mentoring, reluctant volunteers may be more apt to become involved in a mentoring program.

Mentoring Central has received positive preliminary feedback from Oklahoma mentoring programs on the trainings’ alignment with their programs’ goals and values. The OCCY’s and the OJA’s approach to mentoring is rooted in the Science of Hope, a concept that suggests that mentors can promote better outcomes for their mentees by fostering feelings of hope through their mentoring relationships. Oklahoma mentors and program staff reported that they believe concepts in Mentoring Central’s trainings, such as concepts related to goal setting and growth mindset, underscore the Science of Hope.

Mentoring Central looks forward to continuing its work with the OCCY and the OJA to meet the needs of mentoring programs in Oklahoma. To learn more about our research-based trainings for mentors, mentees, program staff, and parents, visit https://mentoringcentral.net/mentoring-training/.