According to 400 Fortune 500 CEOs, 75% of long-term career success depends on soft skills while only 25% depends on technical knowledge. However, this is not reflected in our education system: educators have reported that over 80% of their graduates were ready for work, while employers reported that number to be less than 20%. Young adults are entering the workforce without developing soft skills such as interpersonal communication, confidence, critical thinking, and creativity. In order to develop these skills, they must have opportunities from a young age to show respect and concern, learn how to communicate with different types of people and in different situations, establish trusting connections, build self-control and responsibility, and solve problems and meet goals.
That's why we tutor the whole child. In order to prepare students for long-term success, they must be given and empowered with more and more agency, along with effective modeling of executive functioning skills.
But social-emotional learning also must come in a social and/or leadership context. That's why through our flagship program, Community Reading Buddies (CRB), we invite our tutees to become Youth Mentors who help younger students in literacy. We provide our mentors with the training and tools they need to engage with their buddies, which they use to develop positive relationships and learn negotiation, positive reinforcement, connection, and empathy, and motivation. While they are given the independence to build these relationships on their own, CRB provides continuous, structured support for Youth Mentors. CRB staff works to build positive peer cultures, where young people can provide feedback to one another and explore new behaviors and perceptions.
Through a Positive Youth Development Approach, we:
- Grow Youth Mentors into empathetic listeners and creative mentors
- Encourage Youth Mentors to build and maintain strong community connections
- Empower experienced Youth Mentors to be Lead Mentors who can facilitate small-group discussions with their peers
- Reflect on their experience as Youth Mentors to develop their confidence, communication skills, and connection with their community
If you or your child is interested in becoming a Youth Mentor, apply here.