Home » Mentoring for Court-Involved Youth

Mentoring for Court-Involved Youth

About the Collaborative Mentoring Project

Founded at Teachers College, the YMEJ Collaborative Mentoring Project pairs graduate student mentors with court involved youth in a mentoring relationship designed to be responsive to the needs of the young people, who are identified as Youth Fellows. The mentoring experience does not follow a strict curriculum, but may include the following activities: reading texts, watching videos, creating art, and ample time for discussion where Youth Fellows can have space to raise questions and be heard.

Mentoring pairs will meet regularly (ideally, once a week, but we will work with the schedules of the Youth Fellows) at a site to be determined in consultation with the youth, mentors, and contact person (ie social worker, caregiver). The mentoring experiences will be designed with the intention of supporting and promoting well-being and developing goals related to youths’ educational trajectories. Youth will be involved as active, empowered participants in each mentoring relationship.

This project encourages mentors and youth to share their views and experiences through discussion, hands-on workshops, art projects, journaling, and community outings. Youth will also be invited to contribute to a published volume that will include narratives about the intersection of youth, justice, and education from both the mentors’ and youths’ perspectives. We are hoping to work with schools to offer high school credit to youth participants who are still enrolled in school.

Any Youth Fellows who are interested are invited to attend monthly meetings at Teachers College as part of a seminar called “Youth, Media, and Educational Justice.” These monthly sessions are not mandatory and are not a requirement of participation in the mentoring project.

Call for Court Involved Youth!

We are currently seeking creative young adults in the foster care or the juvenile justice system, between 15-20 years old, to participate in our program as Youth Fellows.

To be eligible, youth must fill out a simple questionnaire and schedule an appointment to talk about their interest in the program. Please complete the questionnaire online or contact Melissa or Lalitha (see info below) to receive an electronic or paper copy, or to complete the questionnaire by phone. Youth must commit to regular meetings with mentors, and will be invited to participate in monthly seminar meetings on the Teachers College Columbia University campus.

Melissa Wade: (646) 386-5639 | mwade@courts.state.ny.us

Lalitha Vasudevan: (212)678-6660 |  lmv2102@tc.columbia.edu

Project email: YMEJ2013@gmail.com

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