Radical Possibilities (RP) Mentorship Program provides support to youth who experience significant adversity and provides robust training and professional development to burgeoning practitioners in mental health and human services fields. In fy20, RP served 14 youth and 10 mentors, who contributed 200 volunteer hours to the program. The rate of school attendance for participating youth increased by 36%.
Radical Possibilities believes in the power of mentoring relationships to promote resilience and a sense of belonging in youth. Compassionate, supportive one-on-one relationships and shared group experiences, such as meals, community activities, artwork, stories, and gratitude, become the stepping-stones for youth to discover their untapped internal and external resources and thrive in an uncertain world.
The Radical Possibilities Mentoring Program (RP) serves youth in grades 6-12 who are facing adverse life conditions that affect their well-being and ability to engage positively in their lives. Many youth served in RP experience poverty, social isolation, and lack of safe and supportive spaces leading to increased risk of depression and other complex mental health challenges.
RP provides intensive one-on-one mentoring (2-4 hrs/wk) as well as a weekly group activity focused on areas such as service learning, educational opportunities, community connection, and creative projects. One-on-one match outings consist of a variety of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, visiting the Humane Society, and doing artwork. The group component provides an inclusive environment in which youth and mentors get to experience diverse relationships, learn new things, and have opportunities to build socioemotional skills.
RP utilizes a strengths-based approach and mentors receive comprehensive training and supervision to assist them in bringing therapeutically informed support for their mentees into their time together. Having the consistent support of a caring adult in addition to a bonded peer group helps youth feel a sense of connection and belonging that improves their mental health, builds resilience, and increases their overall well-being.
We are committed to building the capacity of our mentors through thoughtful recruitment, comprehensive training, and on-going individual support. Our program practices are guided by principles of human dignity, non-violence, and positive youth development. During the 2018-19 school year, the youth who participated in RP saw increases in attendance (33%), a reduction in behavioral incidents (8%), and a reduction in suspensions (17%) in comparison with the previous school year. No youth were expelled or had any criminal offenses while participating in the program.
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