Photos above from Good Tidings Gospel Chapel Big Sisters Mentoring Ministry
Our three goals for mentoring — let me rephrase that — our three mandates for mentoring are that the ministry should be safe — for everyone involved, effective — the work accomplishes the goals and objectives of the program, and sustainable — it has the structure and resources to continue their work.
Sustainability is one of the toughest issues. Dr. Wilson Goode, the former mayor of Philadelphia and founder of Amachi Mentoring, joined our board in 2011 because “you keep on going when others have left to focus on easier endeavors.” It’s tough to keep a nonprofit afloat. It’s not just finances. The biggest issue is that many programs are ineffective because they were either not trained well or failed to implement what they had learned, and as a result, their work was did not have the positive impact on kids and families that they desired.
Clari Gilbert of Good Tidings Gospel Chapel in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn brought her team to our three-day CAYM Core Training in 2007 at a church in New York City. Since that time, they have run a successful mentoring ministry with girls in their church and neighborhood. Clari recently moved and advised their new team to contact CAYM for more training. Now the men in the church are involved as they are expanding the ministry to involve boys.
Wayside Teen Center in El Paso attended our training in New Mexico. Their director, Robert Cormell, recently contacted us to report that their work is still going strong. At our training in 2007 they learned the best practices of mentoring so that they were able to grow and sustain their ministry.
Not everyone who attended our events in CAYM’s early years were able to start and sustain their programs. Since that time we have upgraded our services that have enabled programs to build a solid foundation because we work with them to design the ministry to meet the needs of youth in their community, train them on mentoring best practices, and coach their team over the next year to help them implement their work. Larger programs go through our Quality Assurance program that verifies that they are following practices to ensure their work will be safe, effective and sustainable.
Since the founding of CAYM, we estimate from the reports we have received that over 15,000 youth have been mentored. Lives are being transformed as caring Christians are carefully guided into mentoring relationships and then supported through a thorough supervision system by coaches. These programs vary from churches, like Good Tidings, to community-based ministries such as Wayside Teen Center, and scores of others reaching diverse groups from juvenile offenders to youth who have been trafficked to young Christian men and women who are looking to become leaders.
Our focus is on helping others sustain the work God has called them to do so that kids and their families are reached with the hope and love of Jesus Christ. We are thankful, and often amazed, at the dedication of the leaders and mentors in these ministries.