May 2016

Mentor Message

The best people inspire the best in other people, and here at Catholic Charities we are thankful for your giving and sharing, for your listening and caring, and for being such compassionate mentors. Thank you for bringing out the best in your mentees! Please enjoy this month's Update. Looking forward to seeing everyone at upcoming trainings.

Yours in mentoring, Lauren Porter

Mentor Question of the Month

How do I know if giving food to my mentee is allowed?

The issue of food can be a difficult challenge in the mentoring relationship. And in some cases, it is an extremely complex treatment issue that staff must continually address due to behaviors such as food hoarding and/or gorging which is often the result of extreme deprivation in early childhood. Since our mentoring program serves children in the RTC, the Villa Maria School, and our community-based programs, the incorporation of food in mentoring activities will be very individualized. For example, mentors working with our older teenage girls in the community find that going "out to eat" can be a great activity for casually chatting over a meal and having some great conversation. For other children, going out to eat might not be the best activity. As a mentor, it is important to understand the procedures that are in place for children regarding food. This might be due to special diets, health issues (high cholesterol levels), allergies, weight control, serious food disorder, or even stated preferences of the child's guardian. It is important to ask staff, preferably at the match meeting, about this information so you can plan accordingly. In the RTC, we realize that food choices can be limited for kids, therefore, including food in mentoring visits can be an excellent way to model healthy food choices as well as teach cooking skills, especially if you are working from a recipe. The Maura Pre-Vocational Center (with its fully operational kitchen) is located on the Pot Spring campus and is available to all mentors. Please send an email to if you would like to reserve the Center for an upcoming visit. Click on the grey tab below for the Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Have Fun Guide for Mentors to learn more.

Assets Building Message

We can all be assets builders! As mentors focus on the framework of Developmental Assets they are strengthening the 40 identified building blocks that research tells us are key to the healthy development of children and teenagers. This month let's explore Asset # 38 Self Esteem -- "child likes and is proud to be the person that he or she is." A young person's self-esteem can be affected by many people and situations. Self-esteem in a young person increases when they feel loved, respected, and accepted; taken seriously; and listened to. Feeling safe and secure, and able to make choices and do good deeds also boosts self-esteem. The most important key to building other’s self-esteem is to let them know they matter and are an important part of society.

Some Ideas for strengthening this asset: Mentors are in a unique position of working one-on-one with a child which allows for undivided attention, which in and of itself, provides a sense of being valued. Mentees realize that mentors are volunteering because they want to, and that's a powerful message for a young person who struggles with self-worth. By connecting with a mentee through an interest that excites or inspires him or her, mentors are also helping mentees discover their SPARKS. This in turn builds self esteem along with a sense of purpose. By encouraging mentees to try new things, mentors are also tapping into all kinds of possibilities for growth. Two more ideas for building Asset #38 includes doing a scrapbook together or volunteering together. There are scrapbooks and supplies located in the Mentor Office for anyone interested. To learn more about SPARKS, please click on the grey tab below.

Art Show Coming Soon

Mentors, staff, and children will soon have the pleasure of enjoying the beautiful art work created by our children that will be on display at St. Vincent's Villa between May 23rd through Friday, June 4th. Even if your mentee doesn't reside at St. Vincent's Villa or attend the Villa Maria School, please still plan on dropping by to enjoy this spectacular display. Below is a sampling of one of our Villa Maria School's talented students. Mentor Sue Vaupel's mentee created this picture which was also displayed in Annapolis during Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, May 1-7th. Come and see this beautiful painting along with many others that will be featured during our upcoming art show.

Trauma-Informed Mentoring: ARC Training

Monday, May 16th, 6-8pm

2600 Pot Spring Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Importance of Play Training

Thursday, May 19th, 6-7:30pm

2600 Pot Spring Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093

RSVPs are enabled for this event.