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Mentoring is a Proven Tool
Mentoring has been proven to be an extremely effective tool in the adolescent developmental process. The Gang of Dads was formed specifically as a mentoring program to help fill the fatherhood gap in young men ages 13-17. While originally formed under a separate 501(c)3, the Greater New Haven Help Alliance, we are in the process of transferring the ongoing programs, including Gang of Dads to Church on the Rock. This will be the third mentoring program of the church. Boys to Men and Daughters of Hope are largely (but no exclusively) programs conducted by the church for the children of church members. Gang of Dads specifically aims to reach young men beyond our church community. We partner with secular organizations for referrals of young men who will most benefit from the services we offer.
We hold monthly group meetings and seek to pair each young man with a screened, trained mentor for the purpose of providing weekly encouragement through the development of healthy, meaningful relationships.
The acronym that capsulizes what we are trying to accomplish is F.A.C.E.S.
F- Fun. We recognize that life is hard enough and try to make sure that the young men have some fun in the things we do. Sometimes, we put the “fun” right on the calendar with various events. We have had excursions to the the IT Ropes Course in New Haven, Six Flags, Broadway for a matinee, the Sports Complex in Shelton, several movies, etc.
A- Academic Success. As needed, we work with the young men in areas where they may be struggling in school.
C- Community Service. We emphasize the need to give back to their community and provide opportunities for them to do so.
E- Employment/Entrepreneurial Development. While we have conducted resume writing and interviewing workshops in the past, our newest tact is to teach needed job skills through the establishment of a personalized gift (T-shirts, mugs, etc.) line of products that the boys will design, produce and promote
S- Skills for Life. This is where we try to develop skills that will help the young men throughout life. For example, we had a workshop with one of our police chiefs and a community activist to talk candidly about encounters with the police. We had a psychologist do two sessions on anger management skills. We had a Connecticut Supreme Court Judge and a State Senator on separate occasions. They inspired the young men with their personal testimonies. One of our sessions was with a team of Master Mechanics who came in to teach basic car maintenance skills.
For further information, contact James Fripp at firstname.lastname@example.org.