Chances are at some point in your life you had a mentor/friend who took the time to take you by the hand (literally, for some of us) and helped you discover what you were truly capable of.
Mentoring programs, particularly peer-mentoring programs can be a tremendously effective way to help young adults “develop skills, knowledge, confidence and motivation” (Partners for Youth with Disabilities- Best Practices for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities).
While looking through my bookshelf for resources to help with my own peer-mentoring project, I came across a wonderful resource that I picked up a few years ago, it was a hardcopy of the Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) “Best Practices for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities”. This is a very well written and comprehensive guide to developing a peer-mentoring program for youth with disabilities.
Naturally, in today’s world the next thing I did was check out the PYD website to see what else they have put together since they did this guide several years ago. I was very happy to see that the original guide is available electronically along with several additional resources to support your efforts to establish a worthwhile peer-mentoring program at your CIL. Take some time to look through the PYD site, it will be worth it.
Also, don’t forget about the “Building an Effective, Comprehensive CIL Youth Program” training April 10-12 in Houston, Texas. Brush up on your peer-mentoring questions and come learn about:
• How “nothing about us without us” is especially important when involving youth in CIL programs
• What services and programs successful CILs are offering to support youth transition
• How successful CILs design, fund, staff, and operate their youth transition programs
• How to support transition from school to work, post-secondary education, adult health care, and independent living
The target audience for this training is CIL staff involved in youth transition services and supports, and those interested in expanding services in their centers and increasing the capacity of the youth in their communities.
For those of you currently running fantastic peer-mentoring programs with the youth in your CIL, drop us a line about what works best for you and what you would do differently if you had to start all over.