August 2007


Welcome to the very first edition of the Mentor Consulting Group e-newsletter. Through this publication, Dr. Mentor (Susan G. Weinberger) and the rest of the MCG staff will be bringing you quarterly updates with new tips for effective mentoring programs, listings of trainings and workshops we are providing, and other information that can help you bring the magic of mentoring to those you serve.



The following information can be used to train new mentors on the importance of setting achievable goals with their mentee:

Why do mentees need to set goals in the first place? It is a chance for anyone personally or professionally to:

Chose where you want to go
Decide what you want to achieve
Know where to concentrate your efforts
Spot the distractions that would lure you from your course
Build self-confidence which grows faster when you set and achieve goals

If you follow these 10 easy steps with your mentees, they will be on their way to achieving their goals. You might even share one of your own personal goals and participate in the same exercise as your mentee.

1) Write it down - make sure your goal is specific, measurable and time-bound

2) List your personal benefits - identify exactly WHY you want to achieve this goal

3) Analyze your current position - specific strengths, weaknesses and opportunities relating to achieving the goal

4) Identify obstacles and risks - everything that could possibly prevent you from achieving the goal

5) Identify sacrifices - time, money and sacrifices that you will have to make

6) Knowledge - what additional knowledge you need to acquire

7) Support team - list the people, groups and organizations you may need help from and what role they all play. Perhaps your mentor is among them

8) Develop your plan - list each activity and any tasks to complete

9) Set a deadline - on what date you will achieve this goal

10) Reward and celebration - you deserve it. What will "it" be?

Always remember that the goals in a mentoring relationship must be the mentee's. While the mentor may have strong opinions about the route the mentee should take, the journey, the goals selected, must belong to the mentee.



The past decade has seen a proliferation of mentoring programs that meet the needs of youth in the juvenile justice system, on welfare, who are homeless and runaways, with disabilities and the like.

In the Fall of 2004, the Navajo Nation, a federally funded tribe in Arizona, received a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to develop and implement a mentoring program for Native American children of incarcerated parents. The Navajos teamed with local Boys & Girls Clubs located on reservations in North and South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico and Montana and with Clubs located on tribal lands or urban areas in Oklahoma and Washington state.

Prior to this project, MCG had worked for over ten years to create mentoring programs with the Native American population. We were so pleased to get the nod as the subcontractor to design and implement a mentoring model at the Clubs for this very special and deserving population.

For three years mentors from the community traveled to a Boys & Girls Club, and met with their mentee a minimum of one hour week on site in an after school model. Clubs are wonderful and natural venues for such mentoring meetings. They have rich resources that typically include a gymnasium, computer room, arts and crafts and many other fun things for mentors and mentees to do. Clubs are safe and well supervised places to deliver effective mentoring.

Of all the activities that occurred, the most popular have been when Native American adult mentors, including wise Elders, have taught young people about their rich language, tribal customs, and traditions through projects such as beadworking and pow wows.

I had the great honor of visiting all the sites over the three years except one (snowstorm and flight cancellation on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana! I will get there yet). It has been a fabulous and rewarding experience indeed. On June 7, 2007 I traveled to the Three Affiliated Tribes in New Town, North Dakota with a camera crew. We spent an entire day filming the testimonies of mentors and mentees, the Club's Executive Director, Mentor Program Director and Elders. I was overwhelmed by the comments. The video's goal is to answer the important question: Does mentoring work in tribal settings? The answer was a resounding YES. More than 300 youth were matched with mentors in this project!

The video will be ready at the end of July and will tell the whole story of the program as you look in to the faces of the participants. We'll have more information, and perhaps even some sections of the video, on the website soon. When I asked one of the dear Elders what the word MENTOR means in his language he replied with a twinkle in his eye: "The One Who Cares!" That said it all for me.

If you would like more information about the National Native American Mentoring Program, the lessons we learned (which will be published shortly) and how to begin a mentoring program at your Boys & Girls Club on or off the reservations, do not hesitate to write to me at

-- Susan



August 8-9: National Securities Technology Las Vegas, NV

August 10: Miss America Outstanding Teen Training (Orlando, FL)

August 13-14: Communities in Schools of NC

August 21-23: Buddy Program (Aspen, CO)

September 10-11: ACE Mentor Program (Chicago)

September 19-20: Communities in Schools of NC

October 28-30: National School Safety Conference

November 2: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Regional Conference (Peel, Ontario, Canada)

* If you would like to schedule MCG to provide trainings or keynotes at your event, please contact us at or at (203) 846-9608.


This newsletter is distributed quarterly by Mentor Consulting Group, Norwalk, CT. Content may be used by mentoring programs with proper attribution. If you wish to unsubscribe from this quarterly newsletter, please contact us at