PAACO Mentorship Program
The concept of mentoring can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Before he left Ithaca to do battle in Troy, Odysseus asked his trusted advisor, Mentor, to watch over his son while he was gone. Mentor was entrusted with the task of guiding the boy through his formative years into adulthood. Even today, adults realize the importance of guiding and advising young people through those difficult formative years between childhood and adulthood, and the name of the wise counselor who helped Odysseus has come to refer to those who are called "mentors."
We can all remember those mentors in our lives, who opened opportunities for us, who warned us of potential pitfalls, and who encouraged us to continue even in the face of hardship. They were trusted counselors and guides who made an investment in us, and we looked to them for identification. They helped us form our identities.
We feel that this mentoring program is also identifying future candidates for our scholarships as they continue to stay in school and are successful. We believe that ultimately, this mentoring program will be the foundation for our ongoing scholarship efforts.
We are using the foundation, guidelines, materials, and resources from this well-established organization to focus on developing
character, values, citizenship, and leadership in our young people. Obviously, we encourage education. What we do enhances, we believe, a positive attitude about education. But we try to go further.
We believe that being a good student will be somewhat easier if we can model positive, successful behaviors, and at the same time
address issues like caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness. We have an interactive approach to training. We try to help our young people recognize their assets. We know from research that the more assets youth have at their disposal, the more positive behaviors they will exhibit. Those youth with fewer assets frequently get involved in risky behaviors, which could negatively impact their futures.
We talk about the importance of courtesy, being polite and civil to
everyone. We also stress some of the following:
Use of good manners - avoiding the use of insults, yelling, or ridicule to embarrass or hurt another.
Focus on respect - this of course, involves the Golden Rule.
Value and honor all people, no matter what they can do for you or to you.
Respect others' property - take good care of property you are allowed to use and don't use property without permission.
We try to teach them what they should know to make good choices about their own lives.
Reliability - the importance of keeping your promises.
Being dependable - returning what you borrow, paying your debts and being on time.
Resolving disagreements in a non-violent way - dealing with anger peacefully.
How to respond to insults.