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DAY 1 - February 18, 2021

Morning Sessions

Opening Remarks

9:00 am - 9:15 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks


  • Kelly Juleson-Scopino, Co-President & Chief External Affairs Officer, The Governor's Prevention Partnership
  • Roland Harmon, Co-President & Chief Program and Administrative Officer, The Governor's Prevention Partnership
  • Nathalie Joseph, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Recording of Summit Welcome, Legislative Roundtable, & Awards - 2021 Connecticut Mentoring Summit

Legislative Roundtable

9:15 am - 10:00 am

Legislative Roundtable Discussion: The State of Mentoring in Connecticut

Featured Legislators:

  • The Hon. Brandon McGee, Connecticut State Representative, Hartford, and Founder of Ascend Mentoring
  • The Hon. Pat Dillon, Connecticut State Representative, New Haven
  • The Hon. Tony Hwang, Connecticut State Senator, Fairfield
  • State Rep. Hilda Santiago, Meriden

Also Featuring:

  • Shirley Ellis-West, Urban Community Alliance
  • Jasmine Prezzie, Norwalk Mentoring Program
  • Yakeita Robinson, Phenomenal I Am, Inc.
  • Yvonne Temple, Phenomenal I Am, Inc.

Recording of Summit Welcome, Legislative Roundtable, & Awards - 2021 Connecticut Mentoring Summit


10:15 am - 10:30 am

Advancing Mentoring for Youth Awards

Award Recipients:

  • Excellence in Mentoring: Charlene Russell-Tucker, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Mentoring Ambassador: Larry Selnick, Webster Bank (Retired)

Special Presentation By:

  • David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership


Recording of Summit Welcome, Legislative Roundtable, & Awards - 2021 Connecticut Mentoring Summit



10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Building Youth Power Through Mentoring


  • Steve Vassor, Campaign for Black Male Achievement
  • Brian Sales, Transformative Training & Technical Assistance LLC

Also Featuring:

  • Faith Villegas, Bridgeport Public Education Fund, Inc.
  • Kyrinda Richardson, The Urban League of Greater Hartford
  • Randi McCray, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
  • Ellie Cuifalo, Klingberg Family Centers

We live in unprecedented times; the pandemic, racial events of the past summer, and the economic downturn highlighted social inequities show up every day in our communities and affect the mental health and well-being of the youth we serve. This keynote presentation will be a lively dialogue on how mentoring can build youth power, culturally specific resources for young people to help them impact system change.

Building Youth Power Through Mentoring Download Slides

Lunch Break

12:15 pm to 1:00 pm

Breakout Sessions

These sessions will be held at concurrent times on Zoom. Participants may freely move between sessions during the times that they are active. All sessions will be recorded.

Breakouts #1

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Session A:

Waterbury’s Youth Talk BACK!


  • Roslyn Sotero, Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership

In this workshop, educators, providers, families and youth will learn (1) the importance of creating spaces for youth of color to speak honestly and critically about their racialized experiences and (2) how to create equitable and effective spaces that leverage young people’s lived experiences as a key strategy to enhance youth voice in racial equity and anti-racist work.

Watch Recording Download Slides Download Resources

Session B:

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Diversity and Empowerment through Mentoring

“Mentoring Our Youth's Whole Self: Intersectionality Questions to Consider”


  • Robin McHaelen, LGBTQ+ Leader and founder of True Colors, Inc.

Every human being is made up of multiple social identities: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, abilities, etc. Within each human, there can be a mix of identities that have privilege as well as identities that are marginalized or oppressed. All of those identities matter; all of those identities impact people's experiences in the world. Although we will not have time in this brief session to focus on the nuances of intersectionality, we will explore an Intersectionality tool that will help you think about and support your mentee's whole self.

“Leveraging mentorships to facilitate the sexual health of Black sexual and gender minority youth at risk for HIV”


  • John Mark Wiginton, Johns Hopkins University

This presentation will explore the potential of mentoring relationships to promote HIV prevention among Black sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth. In-depth interviews with 37 Black SGM youth mentees and mentors in 3 Mid-Atlantic cities revealed sexual health discussions occurred in mentorships but could be facilitated more easily with support and resources. Mentors meet a crucial need for Black SGM youth, and a sexual health-focused mobile application could optimize HIV prevention efforts.

Watch Recording Download Slides

Breakouts #2

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Session C:

Stepping into Virtual Mentoring

“Virtual Mentoring During the Pandemic: A Silver Lining”


  • Susan Weinberger, The Mentor Consulting Group

This presentation will address how programs across the country have used the pandemic as a silver lining to meet in a hybrid fashion every week virtually using different platforms: zoom, face time, text, telephone. The advantage is that after the return to normal, we will be able to recruit more mentors who can alternate between in-person mentoring and virtual mentoring. The presentation will examine successful approaches and future implications.

“Tools and Resources for Virtual Mentoring”


  • Aristede Hill, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership

The applications for virtual mentoring can provide great opportunities for mentoring programs. From career exploration to virtual college visits, this opens a new world in mentoring. Both mentors and mentees can schedule time to work together and strengthen their relationship. It is a new world with a hybrid model that takes into consideration new activities, virtual schedule, and the possibility for a deeper connection! In this presentation, we will explore what are the tools to make this possible.

“Innovations for Virtual Mentoring Program to Address Issues in the Black Community”


  • Devin McCrorey, The Wellness Initiative

For the Black community, the year 2020 was marred with a series of multidimensional issues that require multi-faceted techniques to provide solutions. There are four issues discussed here: racism, mental health, physical health and political stability. Our mentor program strives to address each issue and provide specific strategies to confront and overcome them. The means by which we address the issues are as follows: Allowing mentees weekly engagement with local politicians; virtual health classes; virtual mindfulness classes; a curriculum that educates mentees on the causes, effects and solutions to systemic racism.

Watch Recording Download Slides

Session D:

Unleashing the Power of Data: Program Evaluation for Mentoring Providers

“Key Components of Program Evaluation”


  • Josephine Hawke, The Governor's Prevention Partnership

Service providers often approach program evaluation with fear and interpretation. This presentation will be a simple straightforward discuss of key components of evaluation and quality assurance designed to empower mentoring programs to design quality assurance and program evaluations that strengthen their programs. We will tackle issues such as using administrative data for quality assurance and evaluation, measuring the mentoring relationship, and demonstrating effects on youth outcomes.

“Stop Spinning Your Wheels”


  • Ann McIntyre-Lahner, Action2Outcomes

This presentation will provide a brief presentation about Results-Based Accountability, and its focus on outcomes. We will look at three types of performance measures, and how you can use them to stop spinning your wheels and start steering your program to success. This approach works to measure, manage, and market your mentoring program!

“Mentoring Stories: A Qualitative Approach”


  • Damion Grasso, UConn Health

This presentation will describe how the use of pre-and-post surveys and qualitative stories to support the implementation and development of the Youth Excellence Project (YEP), a volunteer-run adventure and leadership program that strives to empower teen boys who have faced significant life challenges to build resilience, navigate life obstacles, and emerge as young adults committed to bettering society.

Watch Recording Download Slides


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Emerging Technology for Mentoring

“Streamlining Virtual Mentoring - a Live Demonstration”


  • Harrison Haigood, MentorHub
  • Jeremy Astesano, MentorHub

The enormous potential of apps to bridge gaps in educational and mental health services has been hampered by low engagement, improper use, and high rates of non-completion. In fact, as many as three-quarters of users don’t complete the recommended number of app or online sessions once they start.

MentorHub consists of an app and integrated web dashboard that enable mentors and programs to track students’ use of the world’s best educational and mental health programs. It is a highly accessible, effective, and scalable way to address student well-being, performance, and persistence. Mentors take the time to listen to goals, help users make the most of apps, and provide the encouragement and accountability mentees need to achieve their goals.

“Fun From a Distance: Utilizing Available Platforms to Bring Fun, Engaging, and Safe Activities during the Pandemic and Beyond”


  • Josh Carbajal, GEAR UP CT
  • Nathan Lannan, The Governor's Prevention Partnership

With the pandemic continuing to keep young people apart from family and friends, mentors have never had more challenges keeping their matches engaged, while maintaining a safe and responsible environment. This presentation will showcase some of the available platforms for mentors and mentees to stay connected with fun activities. It will include information on the accessibility, inherent risks, and parental controls available across each discussed platform, so that mentoring programs can make informed decisions about which options they may want to introduce into their matches.

Watch Recording Download Resources

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