February 15, 2018
The Extra Mile Club
Mentoring is a long-term relationship where one focuses on development, growth, and supporting of the mentee. The mentee benefits from the mentor’s wisdom, support, and teachings. The mentors observe and advise on specific behavior and action changes in daily work. Mentees require a combination of mentoring and coaching which are similar but not equally the same. Coaching is a relationship of limited time where the focus is on eliminating or strengthening of given behaviors. Professionals correct behaviors through the help of coaches to help eliminate or correct behaviors that negatively affect their performance. Coaches also help professionals strengthen and support behaviors that lead to better performances in their activities.
I chose to do an intern at The Extra Mile Club (EMC). I was supervised by Priscilla Drake. My job description involved mentoring kids in a after school tutoring program. I also helped with homework and preparing meals. My job description was on target to the task I had to do. In the beginning, being comfortable and effective was the only challenge I faced. When dealing with kids in the pre adolescence stage I felt intimidated. Over time, working with the children in middle school became easier. I found that if you give them respect and a voice they usual were more manageable. The program dealt with human services on faith, family, education, and sports. EMC has a mission to promoted discipline, academics, leadership, sportsmanship, and self-esteem. EMC aims to promote all these virtues in an enjoyable, safe, and healthy environment through serving God and the community. I do, feel like I preformed to the best of my ability. I improved on my duties by using the knowledge that was given by the mentors and applied it to how I interacted with the children. EMC provides mentoring as a form of human services in a holistic approach to the children, for example, tutoring, Bible study, mentoring, and community service projects. At the end of everyday there was a prayer and a positive motivational script read aloud. I believe through the conditioning of the affirmations the children were able to change some of their negative behaviors. One of the affirmation read was, “I can achieve, if I just believe.” They provided a way to expand the children by attending camps, visiting colleges, and participating in the Amateur Athletic Union Sports for children between 6 and 12 years. All the mentors where there on a volunteer basis and was subject to an annual background check. Therefore, everyone was there because they cared. The Extra Mile Club (EMC) is a non-profit organization located in Beaufort, South Carolina. The organization was established in 2008 after the need to develop new positive alternatives in Beaufort by Chris Dantzler. The positive alternatives were aimed at changing the stereotypical images of the children in the community (Extra Mile Club, 2017). The main aim of EMC is to develop self-esteem, confidence, character, leadership skills, and respect for self and others. The EMC mentoring program has packages on mentoring, tutoring, Bible study, community service, camps or combines, conditioning and strengthening, college visits, and AAU Sports.
In the first year after establishment, the organization began by providing mentors to be role models for twenty young men. The mentors were given the responsibility to teach compassion, integrity, accountability, and respect (Donegan-Ritter & Zan, 2014). Chris Dantzler used football during the much time he spent with the young men to develop their athletic skills. Dantzler is committed to the program, and his consistent goal is to develop excellent citizens, students, and athletes. The Amateur Athletic Union program was started for both boys and girls between the age of 6 and 12 years in 2014 after EMC became a 501c3 organization. The organization has been developing over the years, and in 2016 it formed a Board of Directors of eight members. By expanding the program Emc will be a better success. Being able to reach more youth is needed.
The internship offered an opportunity to work and interact with EMC mentors to the young children. One of the most positive experiences I had interning at EMC was getting to know this particular child name Neiamiah. When I first started, I was just as timid to interact with the children as they were to interact with me. I was able to connect with this child through learning. Common core math was something new to me. Neiamiah was able to show me his way of doing math and I learned from him. I was also able to gain the trust of this child through that encounter. Later on, I was able to get through to him one day when he was having a rough time The mentors should act as role models for the young children by spending quality time with the children. At EMC, the children are taken through a mental development process through different forums (Extra Mile Club, 2017). Different stakeholders collaborate to ensure the children are engaged and offered support, encouragement, and fun. Chris Dantzler started this initiative with the hope and confidence that children with mentors and coaches tend to do better in school mainly because of their higher self-esteem.
During the internship at EMC, I learned to be involved in different activities that help to ensure children gain positively from all aspects of the program. EMC offers mentors and coaches skills that enable one to have a better impact on the young children (Extra Mile Club, 2017). Some of the skills I learned while interacting with the young children are that one should be supportive, an active listener, authentic listener, and skills on fostering self-decision-making. The most important role of mentors and coaches at EMC is to offer support and encouragement to the young children. Football is one of the avenues used at EMC to develop some of the skills required for better development. Football instills discipline, tolerance, teamwork, and respect for others among other personal skills. Using sports in mentorship and coaching makes the program more interesting and interactive to the young children.
Mentoring and coaching at EMC involve other elements, for example, tutoring, Bible study, community service, and camps or combines. These elements ensure the program has several benefits to the mentees and satisfaction by the mentors and coaches. The young children benefit from increased high school graduation rates, better attitude towards school, improved interpersonal skills, enhanced self-confidence, and self-esteem. Social-emotional development among the young children improves which leads to better parental relationships and better chances of enrolling for higher education. This program has helped improve the perception of young children at Beaufort, South Carolina (Extra Mile Club, 2017). The youths develop mentally leading to a decreased likelihood of the young children to initiate illegal drug and alcohol use.
The intern experience involved numerous tasks in the mentoring field. The experience also enlightens me on the benefits of being a positive role model to the children. I benefited from improved self-esteem, a sense of achievement, creation of networks, insight to the adolescence and young adulthood. I also benefited from increased patience, improved supervisory skills, and a pool of people I can collaborate with in my personal life. The program offers much help to youths as they go through challenging life changes and transitions. There are healthy and supportive relationships formed at EMC between the mentors and the mentees to ensure the success of the mentoring program.
I also interned at the Wildcats football program. I was under the supervision of Ericka Brown. The mission of the Beaufort Wildcats is to support, encourage and motivate the youth of our community to be the best they can be in all things. During my intern at the program I assisted the main coach with athletic duties and mentoring. Often times, just being supportive to the girls was enough to help strengthen social skills. This intern was a learning process for me. I learned to be creative and patience. Working with the girls taught me to be more uplifting and compassionate. I could have improved my duties by being more creative. The cheer program taught the girls discipline. It push them to be better academic achiever because, being a cheerleader gave them purpose and improved their self esteem. The girls were able to enhance their social learning skills. They were able to express their personality, through cheering.
During my internship I have learned patience, being an active listener, and how to learn from children. When mentoring or teaching a child, things may not always be understood on the first go around. It is more beneficial to take your time and help.
Donegan-Ritter, M., & Zan, B. (2014). Reflecting, coaching and mentoring. Early Childhood Education, 93-104.
Extra Mile Club. (2017). What We Do. Retrieved from www.theextramileclub.org: http://www.theextramileclub.org/what-we-do.html