Last week on Thursday, November 15th a group of twenty SF YouthWorks mentors attended an exciting workshop centered around a game show called Mission Possible. Teams of mentors competed against each other in a race to city hall. Teams discussed questions and presented their answers to a judging panel composed of a YLT intern, mentor, and employment coordinator. Mentors left the workshop with new ideas and resources to support their interns. Here are some of the great responses from our all star mentors:
How can a mentor spark intern interest regarding careers in city departments?
- Expose interns to every level of work and different facets of the department, ranging from the department head to information technology
- Discussing interns interest, career goals, and current skills
What can mentors do on the job to encourage postsecondary education?
- Stress the value of postsecondary education and help youth clarify interests in the field
- Help out with applications, the financial aid process, and try to connect youth with a college counselor
- Provide specific information about options for school- community college, four year private/public colleges, and vocational school
What advice would you give a fellow mentor who is hosting an intern who has more barrier to employment (i.e. history in juvenile system, pregnant/has a child, english language learner, etc)?
- Encourage interns to talk about their situation, be supportive and keep an open dialogue
- Encourage interns to get support from school counselors and to seek out resources for transitional aged youth at http://www.taysf.org
- Encourage mentors to be patient and understanding, show that you want your intern to succeed, be clear about your expectations, and talk with your Employment Coordinator if challenges come up
How can you help an intern reach their on the job goals between now and May?
- Make well defined action plan to achieve objectives, monitor progress with constant dialogue
- Provide on the job training on specific software programs required for the job, attend weekly check in meetings with the youth and provide constructive feedback on work
What specific resource or tip can you share with an intern to help with their transition into adulthood?
- Talk about adult responsibilities, such as money management
- Share your experience with your own transition
- Ensure that your relationship lasts after the internship to stay involved with the youth