YWCA Teen Families Mentor Program

Mission Statement 
The YWCA, strengthened by diversity, draws together members who strive to create opportunities for women's growth, leadership towards eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Support young mothers and their children by mentoring a teen mom, or providing childcare for infants and toddlers.Volunteers have the option of participating in a number of ways including becoming a nursery staff member.  The volunteers are encouraged to interact with the children one on one and to explore learning activities and opportunities with the children, which may include reading, motor skill activities, and etc. Volunteers also have the option of serving as a mentor. As a mentor, one is paired with a teen mother as their "mentee.". Spending time with one's mentee outside of program is also highly encouraged including the activities on site.

Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month: Teen Families Reading Together Program 
Meet at 4:35 first group or 5:25 PM second group outside of the Grill. 
Return by 9:00 PM
Site location: YWCA Building 1807 E. Wendover Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405

Thursday (weekly): Teen Parent Mentor Program -- Volunteers meet at 5:25pm outside the grill. Return by 9pm
Site location: Children’s Museum 220 North Church St. Greensboro NC 27401

• All have dinner together at the venue on arrival.
Mentor Assignment  Get together with respective teen mom and attend a session where a guest speaker delivers a presentation or spend the time doing homework and filling out job and school application.
Nursery Assignment Get to the nursery and play, entertain, sing or read to/with the children/toddlers.

2014-15 Site Goals 
To build strong bonds and relationships as volunteers.

2014-15 Team Goals
To take the skills and lessons that were learned and apply them to everyday life outside of the YWCA including school, social life, etc. 

Project Coordinator, 2014-2015
Brandon Rothfuss, Bonner Scholar

Oct. 30th 2014
Thursday was a great fun day, nursery had their hands full with the vibrant full of joy kids as mentors with their teen moms were in the library, helping teen moms finish their homework, applying to jobs, looking for scholarship or learning how to make their resume appealing.  It is exceptional to see the joy on the young kids faces every time they see our volunteers waiting for them in the nursery.  From grocery shopping in the museums make shift grocery store, or to dressing up and putting on a musical talent show on stage, these kids, as well as the volunteers, have a great time.  The moms really do appreciate the help that we provide as volunteers.  It is the gratitude of knowing that you can make a difference in these people's lives, only if it is for a short while.  It is these little moments that last a lifetime.

Nov. 10th 2014
Monday marked the day where the Project Coordinator and volunteers met to reflect on the semester thus far.  This was a great way to get feedback about various topics such as, what they like about their service site and what they think could be changed (if anything) to make it better, their expectations for the project coordinator and themselves and what to expect going into the future.  Everyone was very responsive and fully engaged in their thoughts and were expressive about sharing their feelings.  Other things like school and social life came up as well and it was nice to see how the volunteers were doing outside of service. Balancing a social life with school work and volunteer work is key to surviving here in college.  Being a Bonner Scholar is not easy by any means, but with dedication, hard work and time management everything will be okay.

Nov. 13th 2014
Thursday nights are our own version of "Night at the museum".  But instead of dinosaur displays and caveman coming to life and causing trouble throughout the museum, we have actual babies and young toddlers running around causing probably more trouble than any dinosaur could.    We had a full house of volunteers this time, but unfortunately there weren't as many children this time as usual.  Even though this was the case, we still had our hands full with the little bundles of joy that were there.  Between the on and off crying of the two 3 month old babies to the endless energy of the 4 year old's, we were on our toes the whole time.  This is what I love about the YWCA. Giving these children a couple hours of our time to do what they want to do and make them happy is the best feeling in the world.  I try to keep my volunteers engaged as best I can and they do the same with me.  One volunteer asked me "why did I decide to do a service site like this one especially because I am the only guy?" It didn't take me long to respond with "because it's what I do....I love helping and caring after children and to know that we are making a difference in theses teen moms lives in addition to the children lives makes it all worth it."

Nov. 18th 2014
Personal reflections by some wonderful volunteers:

Eliza Stevenson (Freshman): Volunteering to work in the nursery for the YWCA Teen Mentor Program has had an impact on me from the first time that I went there. The Greensboro Children's Museum provides a wonderful environment on Thursday nights for the work that the YWCA is doing. It is clear that that is vital time for the mothers to spend with their mentors, but this service site is so much more than simply offering the kids a safe and fun space for a few hours. Every time I talk to and interact with the kids I gain fresh insight into their lives, that sticks with me from week to week. I really enjoy getting to know the children and trying to learn as much as I can about their perspective. I hope that I am imparting them with whatever they need at this point in time, whether that is playing a game, taking a turn around the museum, or reading a book.

Ro Lutenbacher (Freshman):Volunteering at the  Y is always something of a break for me--within the rush of classes and nearing finals especially, I think many of us forget to enjoy small things, like getting to enjoy and play with children, each with amazing and funny personalities. It's exciting to see the kids and how they change almost every time--from noticing daisy-shaped earrings on a little girl one day to seeing her next week with shiny red hearts. It's almost impossible not to get attached to the kids when working in the nursery. 

Nov. 20th 2014
As the semester starts to wrap up, it is important to keep in mind all of the good that has come out of this year.  Great service work with great volunteers makes this job worth it and the children really appreciate it.  We were given thank you letters from the moms and children showing their gratitude for what we do.  There are only a few programs left in the semester. It is sad to think that this year is coming to an end, but we are all excited to see what awaits us in the coming future.

Dec. 11th 2014
The semester is officially at its end!  This semester of volunteering has been an amazing experience and I am sad to see it end.  I guess you know what they say "Time flies by when you're having fun."  I hope this semester has brought joy to everyone's lives in one way or another and I can't express how excited I am to start volunteering at the YWCA again in the spring.  On behalf of the volunteers and myself, we all hope you have a wonderful Christmas Break and can't wait for what 2015 has in store.

Feb. 17th 2015
The new spring semester is underway! As we ring in the new year, its always nice to look back and reflect on the previous year and how much fun everyone had volunteering at the YWCA.  As great of a year 2014 was, 2015 is expected to be even better.  What better way to welcome in a new year than with a new building!  The YWCA officially has there own building to call home.  Instead of having to use a church for Tuesday programs, they have a building of their own that includes office space, a nursery (with cushioned floors), a kitchen and even room to host homeless women and give them a place to stay.  It has been long awaited and now that they have finally been able to get their space is an amazing feat. This 2015 spring semester is expected to be huge and we cannot wait to see what lies ahead.

Mar. 6th 2015
March is finally upon us! Despite some cancellations due to inclement weather, YWCA program is still on the up and up.  I am happy to announce that we have three new volunteers! It is always nice to see new joyful people that can bring energy and enthusiasm to an enthusiastic group of children,  I am excited to see how much of a positive impact these new volunteers have on the YWCA and vice versa.

Mar. 13th 2015
Are midterms over yet! Is it Spring Break! Yes and Yes! The end of this week marks the end of midterms which means the start of Spring Break. This is a time for all students to wind down and relax. It will feel great to know that there is nothing to stress over for a whole entire week like school and work. Sadly however, this also means the end of YWCA program for a week as well.  Program has been going so well.  The children and teen moms have been very engaging with all of the volunteers.  I am glad to see the interaction between the teen moms and the volunteers grow.  It is good to know that there is trust amongst everyone. This trust not only allows for a more engaging environment but it gives the volunteers the comfort to know that the moms have the confidence in them to take care of their children.  

Mar. 24th 2015
We are now officially into the swing of the second part of the semester. As students get back into school mode this also means that they are getting back into the YWCA mode as well.  Today marked the first night of program since the start of spring break. It was good to see all of the children smiling faces as they quickly rushed into the nursery ready to play and engage with the volunteers. The goal for this second half of the semester is to truly leave a lasting impression on the YWCA. This marks the last part of my last semester at Guilford. I have been with the YWCA since my freshman year here and ever since then I have never been happier volunteering for a non-profit quite like this one. As my tenure as project coordinator at the YWCA starts to run out, I want to make sure I leave a legacy that will carry on for years to come and also inspires others to do great things at the YWCA that gives these teen moms and their children a better and brighter future.

Mar. 27th 2015
The first week back from spring break was a success. In years past, I personally have found it quite hard to get back into school mode as well as volunteer mode, but with the group of volunteers that I have, there wasn't any problem at all.  The children as well as the mom's were glad to see everyone back an in action.  The community that has been developed at the YWCA is stronger than ever!

April 14th, 2015
Spring is fully in gear as the flowers are blossoming and sky is blue with the bright yellow sun shining down. Its been a great spring to do service at the YWCA. Everyone seems to just be happier at this time of the year. There are definitely no complaints here on this end. The nursery has been running very smooth as our volunteers are doing  wonderful job. Its been great to see the same bright smiling faces every time we come. We are truly making a difference in these children s lives by simply being someone who they can play with. Being there for these children has been the greatest accomplishment of my time here at the YWCA and I know it has been for the rest of the volunteering staff.

  1. How do I become a volunteer? Once you express interest in becoming a volunteer you are required to participate in a two hour orientation to learn more about our programs and the different types of volunteer opportunities available at the YWCA by Christina DobsonCurrent volunteer opportunities include working with pregnant and parenting teens and young women, working with middle and high school students in our youth development programs, and during the winter months, adult women through the YWCA Winter Emergency Shelter. After your training with Erika you would have a brief training with the Site coordinator( Brandon Rothfuss) to sign a contract and any other questions that were not clearly answered in the first training and figure out what days work best with your schedule.
  2.  Where do I go for training with Erika/the YWCA? At the YWCA Greensboro office, 4002 Spring Garden St  Greensboro, NC 27407
Club, team, etc

Faculty member

Neighborhood, grassroots organization

Issues-based nonprofit

Support from a business owner
2014-2015 Important Texts and Resources
Content guidelines, style and format page
• Welcoming Greensboro Initiative   
Slideshow from American Friends Service Committee, Uniting NC, Bonner Center et al 
• Welcoming Greensboro Initiative, Full Report to the City
• Social Equity in the Triad 
from Piedmont Together
Bonner Center Facebook   
Look at links we’ve posted on poverty, social injustice, food insecurity, etc and see where they lead
High Impact 101
Understand what High Impact Practices mean
Visual Images