On November 21, 2013 Morehouse College Alumni Association (MCAA) and The John W. Harland Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) launched a collaborative mentoring initiative to serve primarily African American males between 10-17 years of age. The following are some brief facts about the partnership to assist in orienting prospective mentors on the guidelines and time commitments.
How much time is required?
- You can be involved with the Morehouse Alumni Mentoring program in two ways. One is to be a speaker which only requires a one-time thirty minute presentation. To be a mentor requires an additional commitment as listed below.
Speakers are alumni who volunteer to come present at one weekly session. At this session speakers will be asked to share experiences about their career, life, and childhood. The purpose of the speakers is to expose the youth to a variety of careers, experiences, and backgrounds of African American Males.
Alumni and current students who want to make a more significant contribution and volunteer to mentor on a regular basis can become Mentors. All Mentors must be appropriately screened and have successfully passed all required background checks per BGCA Membership requirements. Each mentor may be assigned more than one mentee. Mentors will be matched based upon interviews with Club staff and upon meeting the mentees. BGCA is also mindful of matching mentors and mentees by gender and race, in particular in regard to addressing the minority male mentor gap. The hours of mentoring will be dependent upon the availability of the mentor and child; however, some form of regularity is encouraged. Our program uses a group mentoring model which means we try and establish multiple relationships with mentors and mentees. It is encouraged that mentors meet with mentees once weekly for 1 hour. Mentoring relationships that last at least a year or more are proven to be most effective.
Where does the mentoring take place?
- If in Atlanta, all mentoring activities and interactions will occur at the John Harland Boys & Girls Club on Peeples Street in the West End.
- If elsewhere all mentoring occurs at the respective Boys and Girls Club. All mentoring in this program is club based.
Will the mentoring take place nationwide?
- The mentoring will begin in Atlanta with a pilot project being designed specifically for our alumni and students. Chapters and alumni outside of Atlanta will have the opportunity to interact with clubs as speakers and mentors, based on the current models in place at the respective clubs.
Will I be trained if I want to be a mentor?
- Mentor training is required for all mentors. The BGCA organization and MCAA will provide prospective mentors with orientation and training to support mentors and to ensure a successful and meaningful mentoring experience-both for mentors and mentees.
What is the involvement of the Boys and Girls Club of America?
- For the past several years, BGCA has received federal National Mentoring Program funding through the US Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to pass-through to local Boys & Girls Clubs to provide mentoring programs and services to thousands of youth, with an emphasis upon those youth living in distressed and disadvantaged areas.
What type of agreement does the Alumni Association have with BGCA?
- MCAA and BGCA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this year to partner in delivering mentoring program serving males youth from their surrounding perspective communities who are members of the John Harland BGCA.
Are there any special requirements for mentors?
- Volunteer mentors for BGCA can be anyone affiliated with the national or local collaborating organization i.e. (MCAA) as long as they are appropriate and suitable candidates to work closely with children. Background checks will be administered through the local Boys & Girls Clubs for all volunteer mentors at no cost to the mentor candidate.
Is there any financial requirements?
- No there is no cost to participate. We do accept tax deductible donations towards the operation of the program.
What do I need to do to be a speaker or a mentor?
Call the MCAA office or email our program manager.