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Mentoring in Harlem

If you’ve read a bit about us, you know that we are engaged in a project with a lot of moving parts, one of which involves a collaborative mentoring approach that we have been developing over the past year. There will be lots more on this to come… but for now, I wanted to tell you about another great mentoring effort happening in Harlem — a joint effort between Harlem CARES Mentoring Movement and Total Equity Now (TEN) (read what we wrote last week about the great work that TEN is involved in).

Next Tuesday, August 13th, 6:30-8:30pm — Harlem CARES and TEN are sponsoring a mentoring fair at the Minisink Townhouse (at Lenox Avenue and 142nd Street). From an article published in DNAInfo New York:

“More than 3 million children are being mentored in the United States today but another 15 million are waiting to be mentored. Many grassroots organizations simply don’t have the resources to recruit enough adults.”

and

“The fair hopes to eliminate the disconnect between adults who might be interested in mentoring young people and the many organizations that facilitate such relationships by putting them together in the same room.”

In our work with court-involved youth over the past two decades, we’re learned that not every young person will want a mentor, some won’t want to participate if the experience is called mentoring, and some may not realize that a mentor is exactly what they need in their corner. But one thing is certain: young people need caring adults in their lives. Young people flourish in unexpected ways when they know they have someone (and hopefully a few someones) in their corner. And it is here where we see the richness of mentoring to exist and it is in the liminal spaces of a caring ethos that unimagined possibilities may begin to thrive.

These aren’t mere platitudes. They are words written by someone who has been fortunate to have had mentors throughout her life; for their wisdom, gentle guidance, occasional admonishments, and constant strength, I will be forever grateful.

So, if you’re a “committed adult” who can imagine “building another positive, strong relationship with someone who can mirror to young people what is possible in their lives,” then head on over to the Mentoring Fair on August 13th.

Read more about the fair and the co-sponsors Rochelle Hill (of Harlem CARES) and Joe Rogers Jr. (of Total Equity Now) here.


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