"Intelligence plus character" that is the goal of true education - Martin Luther King Jr.
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Mentor Program

     Darden's Enlightment Center offers a variety of mentoring programs to meet the youths needs. Each version has its own characteristics, training techniques and motivational factors to ensure the efficient of the program. Before we go into our programs lets go over some general information about mentoring.

What is a Mentor?
A mentor can be anyone of good character who is willing to invest their resources into someones life. A mentor can often help a youth find answers to questions they seemingly cannot find on their own.

What is the job of a Mentor?
A mentor job is to be a role model, friend and guide to the youth. In-addition mentors also help the youth through academic assistance, career exploration, emotional support and social experiences however mentors are not parents, social workers or guidance counselors.

Who are the requirements or criteria for being a mentor?
1) The mentor must be at least 21 years old for traditional mentoring or 18 years old for group controlled mentoring
2) Must complete mentor application
3) Must have a valid driver license with proof of insurance
4) Must have four references that will attest to the character of the applicant
5) Must submit to a live fingerprint scan process

How long will it take for the screening  process to be complete?
The entire enrollment process may take up to two weeks depending on how quick we can get the necessary information that is required.

If I have had problems in the past with one of the criteria will this prevent me from being a mentor?
Not necessary, we will look at each situation individually and see if the circumstance poses a potential threat to the welfare of the youth. Remember our main objective for the screening process is to protect the youths best interest.

I am interested in becoming a mentor do I have to sign a letter of commitment and if so for how long?
Yes - We require all mentors and youth to sign a minimal one year letter of commitment. It is important to remember that true relationship bonding and lifetime changes can only occur over time. 

Are there any guidelines that I should follow while working with the youth.
Yes - Most of this information will be revealed to you in your initial training session but as a general guideline anything that is immoral, indecent, illegal or of negative persuasion one cannot do in the presence of the youth. In addition willfully committing any of these items could also prohibit you from becoming a mentor.

What forms of mentoring do we do?
1) Traditional Mentoring Program - One to one mentoring 
2) Group Mentoring Program - Offered in a controlled environment with a maximum of 1:4 ratio  mentors to youth  
3) Peer Mentoring - Usually conducted on site whereas one youth assist another youth in academics
4) On-line Mentoring - Mentoring conducted world-wide through the use of the Internet
5) Juvenile Delinquency Mentoring - Special form of mentoring designed to reach the juvenile delinquent
6) Caregivers Choice Program - A mentor program designed for the caregiver of the youth with parents in prison
7) School Based Mentoring - Takes place at a learning institute
8) Work Place Mentoring - Takes place at a job sight
With each new day comes an opportunity to make a difference, to have purpose and to be a blessing to someone. Wise is the person who realizes this and invest their gifts in someone, foolish is the person who has an opportunity and fails to take it - Darren C. Darden