Mentoring is just one piece of the puzzle for building bridges between kids and communities. I’m passionate about equipping schools, community groups, churches and individuals with effective training. Whether it’s an in-service for your school staff or helping a community group get started with a comprehensive mentoring strategy, I am passionate about helping you set the stage for a better future for our kids.

Before I dive into my training packages, I’d like to share a little of my background in training.

How a Youth Pastor Grew a Mentoring Program Through Training Volunteers & Community Leaders

I was working as a youth pastor and volunteered to eat lunch with students of the local alternative school once a week. That year, I received a character award from the school system and two of the central office county supervisors said they’d seen a considerable difference in these children. The asked me to start a mentoring program in all 13 schools across the county.

I went to hear Laura Bush speak about her mentoring initiative and a purpose for my career was born. I started investing in getting a mentoring program that bridged kids with their community.

Upon receiving training through the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring, I started IAM4Kids Mentoring which provided one-on-one mentors for the school system. I did this on a volunteer basis until I became the full-time director in 2008.

For the past 10 years, I’ve trained hundreds of mentors that have made a real difference in the lives of the kids of Lawrence County, Tenn. Now, we are expanding into two other school systems and my vision is to take this program to communities across the United States.

I was a vulnerable child and I want to see kids succeed the way I did – through positive adult role models. This changed everything for me.

Building Bridges With the Community Inside the School System

In addition to helping schools and communities learn how to start mentoring programs, I have a wealth of experience in training students, faculty, staff and community leaders.

In my two years with the AWARE grant, I trained all of the Lawrence County principals, vice principals, counselors, special ed and multiple school staffs in Youth Mental Health First Aid. I’m a certified instructor and my experience is that this is one of the best things we can do for our children. This program empowers educators to help struggling kids on another level.

In addition to my work with Youth Mental Health First Aid, I’ve led four social skills (group mentoring) classes daily to more than 50 students in the adult education and alternative schools in Lawrence County.

Even though I’ve branched into speaking and consulting, I still work individually with 11 students weekly because I feel it’s important for leaders to truly understand the mission of what we’re doing. It’s my accountability to IAM4kids.

Now, that you’ve heard a little of my background, here’s what I can offer to your school, school system or community group in training.

Workshop: How to Rekindle the Connection With Students (Most Appropriate for Faculty/Staff of Schools)

In this workshop, I’ll share how you can rekindle the connection between faculty, staff and students through the creation of an in-school mentoring program. When a faculty and staff rediscover their passion for connecting with students, lives change.

Here’s a short video interview with Kathy Burns, principal of Leoma Elementary School, on the success of an in-school mentoring program that encapsulates the message of this workshop.

Contact me to bring this workshop to your school.

Workshop: Getting the Community On-Board With Mentoring & How to Find Resources for a Mentoring Program (Appropriate for School Administration/Counselors/Community Leaders)

This is the introductory portion of my “Bring IAM4KIDS to My Community” Consulting Package, but it’s a great stand-alone workshop for school and community leaders looking to get started with a mentoring program.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • How to get the conversation started with schools and community groups about the importance of mentoring.
  • How to find a group to support the financial and administrative needs of a successful mentoring program.
  • What to look for in a community liaison and a board of directors.
  • Unique ways to find funding for a sustainable mentoring program.

If you’re ready to have a serious conversation about getting a mentoring program in your community, this workshop is the place to begin.

Contact me to bring this workshop to your school or community.

Workshop: The Ins & Outs of Keeping the Identities of Schools & the Faith Community Separate But Working Together (Appropriate for PTOs, Administration, Community Groups)

The relationship between the school system and the faith community is complicated in today’s society, but it doesn’t have to be. These groups exist for a common goal – to build a successful next generation. The school and church are united in their goal to produce adults who know how to work hard, solve problems and lead good lives.

Our approaches are different, but our goals are the same. And I believe in the age of identity that we can respect the priorities and responsibilities placed on each entity and work together to help our children become the best they can be.

In this workshop which is part of my bigger “Bring IAM4KIDS to Your Community” package or a stand-alone workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How schools can foster a relationship with the faith community to bring quality mentors and real results to vulnerable student’s lives.
  • The unique tactics I’ve used for more than 10 years through IAM4KIDS Mentoring to bring a hands-off mentoring program to your school.
  • Practical, low-cost methods for working with the faith community to provide mentors, administration, and fundraising to a school-based mentoring program.

Contact me to bring this workshop to your school or community.

Special Note to Pastors/Faith Community: If you’re a faith community leader looking to partner with schools to reach vulnerable kids, your congregation will be inspired and on fire for getting started with mentoring after this workshop. I also offer additional training for faith organizations through my church ministry – Reference Point Ministries.

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