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DAY 2 - February 19, 2021


9:15 am - 10:45 am

Opportunities & Challenges: Mentoring Strategies to Advance Social Equity


  • Dr. Jean Rhodes, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, Youth Mentoring Action Network

This plenary will be lively dialogue between two leaders in the field of mentoring on opportunities and challenges to advance social equity through mentoring today’s youth. Dr. Jean Rhodes is a leading mentoring expert, Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and the author of the new book, “Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century.” Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan is an emerging leader in the youth mentoring field, founder of the Youth Mentoring Action Network, and author of Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, a handbook for culturally sustaining programming and advocacy to work with diverse youth populations, i.e., Black, Latinx, LGBTQQ, first-generation college students and low-income youth.

Watch Recording Download Slides

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

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Session E:

Mentoring Systems-Involved Youth: Where Do We Go From Here?


  • Josephine Hawke, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership


  • Patricia Nicolari, Children’s Community Programs
  • Ron Huggins, City of New Haven Youth and Recreation Department
  • Lyne Landry, Guilford Youth and Family Services
  • Stephan Palmer, Youth on Fire

This presentation will be a dialogue between stakeholders who refer youth for mentoring and mentoring providers about strategies that programs can use the support mentoring for systems-involved youth in Connecticut. This will address the characteristics of youth who are served by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, as well as the skills and knowledge that mentors need to effectively engage youths, family engagement strategies, and emerging roles for mentoring.

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Session F:

Student 5.0 @ReadyCT: Using Problem-Solving Frameworks for Quality Improvement


  • Tami Christopher, EdLD, Student 5.0 Program Manager
  • Aliyah Brogdon, Student 5.0 Peer Mentor Supervisor

Problem-solving frameworks can be used by program teams to identify challenges and to design, implement, and evaluate solutions during the program lifecycle. Continuous improvement practice encourages timely response to the shifting needs of participants in a rapidly changing world and should be used in conjunction with end-of-program evaluations. In this workshop, participants will learn a problem-solving framework and practice the strategy in small breakout groups on a relevant problem of practice.

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Breakouts #2

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Session G:

Harnessing the Power of Everyday Mentoring


  • Michelle Thomas, Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Sophia Duck, Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania

This workshop is designed to provide youth-serving adults with the tools they need to continue a successful, high quality relationship with the youth in their lives through experiential learning. This workshop will call attention to the importance of a strong youth-adult relationship and enhance the skills necessary to support a young person.

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Session H:

The V.E.T.T.S.™ Program: Training Veterans as Mentors Using Urban Trauma Framework


  • Maysa Akbar, American Psychological Association
  • Anthony Stanley, Urban Community Alliance
  • Alexander Warden, Urban Community Alliance
  • Olivia Henderson, Urban Community Alliance
  • Jayden Thompson, Urban Community Alliance
  • Yonelix Thompson, Urban Community Alliance

V.E.T.T.S.™ matches honorably discharged veterans with at-risk/high risk youth. Our restorative framework advocates and promotes reconciliation, restoration, and rehabilitation between youth, their family and the community. Each V.E.T.T.S.™ mentor is trained on the Urban Trauma® framework. The Urban Trauma framework unpacks how people of color live in a state of crisis due to oppressive societal systems, resulting in feelings of anger, rage, and hopelessness.

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1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Closing Conversation, Moving Forward With Mentoring


  • 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
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