Do Not Blame the Youth

April is an exciting month for Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program. We are launching our book! On April 12, They Are All the Same Girl, written by our founder Kelly Fair, will be available for purchase. To celebrate this huge milestone, we will be featuring an excerpt from the book each week on the blog.

This week’s excerpt comes from the chapter titled, “Figuring Out What Our Kids and Communities Need”.

Being a great mentor is not about becoming a pro at the blame game. The children in our community catch enough of a bad rap from the media. We’re all bombarded with news stories that constantly paint our children as animals without ever acknowledging or analyzing the economic or social factors that plague our communities. These factors predispose our children to exhibiting problematic behaviors in the first place. So the last thing our kids need is more people who are dead set on criticizing them. And, in my opinion, you’ll never be an effective youth mentor if this is the mindset with which you approach mentoring opportunities. Unfortunately, our youth may be experiencing too much negativity at home, and sometimes from inexperienced or uncaring educators at school. Too many of our children are carrying mental and emotional burdens most adults are ill-equipped to manage. A mentor that adds to that negativity, even if they are well-intentioned, is misguided and not the least bit admirable.  (28-29)

We need to support our girls, our youth. And that means we need to start where they are at–be at their level. If we fail to do so, we won’t truly know the youth in our mentoring program! Which means we will be using assumptions and stereotypes to guide programming. As is mentioned in the excerpt above, “a mentor that adds to that negativity…is misguided”. Break down this barrier by being open to conversation and educating yourself.

Don’t be afraid to admit there is something you don’t know. We all have something to learn!

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With They Are All The Same Girl Kelly Fair delivers turn-key tactics and shares insight on successfully garnering support from volunteers, schools, civic and corporate partners.  The book offers personal testimonies from volunteers, program staff and candid community conversations that will prepare aspiring social entrepreneurs, and your organization, to build a generation of girls on the path to personal and professional success!

Interested in purchasing They Are All the Same Girl? Click here…

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