Stories of Hope is a compilation of heart wrenching, and liberating short stories written by youth participating in Writing for the Soul Workshop™ around the world.
Through a unique structure offering both engagement -and reward, this workshop brings education and passion together in a way that offers permanent life changing impact. As noted in the forward by educator Sarah Lankford, these unique and amazing individuals have received a rare opportunity to share a story they needed to share … and develop a love of writing as a result.
On February 28th, our programs ground to an abrupt halt, as the COVID-19 crisis became all-consuming for our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ programs. The first thing we had to figure out was how could we do our part to try to stop the spread of the virus while continuing to provide programs.
As we worked to do this, we were mindful that 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members. With students being stuck in the house, we quickly realized that our program is essential. For some students, accessing it onsite …is absolutely critical.
MJ (pictured above) reported that Writing for the Soul Workshop™ helps him to cope with anxiety, and boredom associated with social isolation. Our Pandemic Crisis Action Plan makes it safe for him and mentors to attend each week.
With distance learning and alternate methods of instruction (AMI) now in place, we have resumed offering all of the WOW Factors packed within our program -like Social Emotional Learning and mentorship to students onsite here in Arkansas. Regarding health and safety, we quickly created a Pandemic Crisis Action Plan and implemented strict screening protocols using CDC Guidelines and by restricting visitors in our onsite locations. Read More
Submitted by Nahnee
I want to learn how to work with others whom I don’t have a natural connection with. I want to go the extra mile to help others and exert a positive influence on their lives. I am passionate about helping people and want to be seen as someone who has helped someone become successful.
Today, everyone needs good guidance and role models. I lacked them both, and it caused me to travel down a road that lead destruction. I want to be that good role model. I want to be that good leader. My saying has always been “Change Brings Greatness” and that’s the truth.
Once you change your life great things will start to blossom. For some, it may take jail for that change to come, but it doesn’t have to come to that. As a mentor, my goal is to help decrease the juvenile incarceration rate to 0%. To help shift these negative paths towards something great.
Nahnee was born in Long Beach, California and currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. She seeks to impart knowledge, and promote understanding among young adults who are currently or have been incarcerated, as well as spread empathy concerning their circumstances and living conditions throughout communities.
Nahnee spreads stories of her experiences behind bars with hopes of saving as many lives as she can through her book entited, “Convicted at 16”. Click on the photo below to learn more about Nahnee and to view her book.
“Every day, mentors in communities across our Nation provide crucial support and guidance to young people. Whether a day is spent helping with homework, playing catch, or just listening, these moments can have an enormous, lasting effect on a child’s life.” –President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, National Mentoring Month.
Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is a quality mentoring program aligned to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. In alignment with those standards, we provide a systemic approach to ensure the safety, well-being and growth of both our Mentors and Mentees. We also provide a wealth of ongoing resources to ensure our program participants receive all the support they need.
Our program is listed in the Mentoring Connector. It is the only national database of quality mentoring programs. The Mentoring Connector is a free service that helps quality youth mentoring programs across the country recruit more local volunteers. Each year, potential volunteers looking for mentoring opportunities do more than 80,000 searches in this system. The NBA and others use this database to recruit volunteer mentors. We currently need e-mentors and mentors in Pulaski County, Arkanasas.
Mentors are what makes Writing for the Soul Workshop™ so successful. The Mentor to Participant relationship strengthens the engagement that participants have with the Workshop, and can also help facilitators better understand what motivates our participants.
Training is required for Mentors because it outlines the way you should interact with our participants. Click here to review our eligibility requirements. While “mentor” is a specific role within our program’s structure, the mentor training outlines what a responsible mentoring relationship looks like, and how their unique role and relationship with workshop participants strengthens the overall success of the workshop.
*Accept the importance of the relationship they develop with participants in the Workshop, and understands the need to have honest, engaged and supportive relationships with Workshop Participants
*Protect the Workshop and it’s participants with professional, caring and honest interactions with all Participants, other Workshop staff, and members of the community.
*Relate to others in a way that is respectful and understanding of each person’s unique story and identity, while staying focused on a positive, pro-social communication.
*Illustrate our Workshop Operating Values in all that they do, and stays focused on the Mission of the Workshop during interactions, understanding that they represent Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in all that they do.
*Listen to feedback from all they interact with, understanding that all feedback is valuable to improving our success in communication with everyone associated to the Workshop, as well as the community we serve.
Benefits of Completing Training
Mentors receive a Certificate of Completion after successfully completing a Background Check and the four hour certification course. The Certificate allows our mentors to work in any of our workshops around the world. Learning Objectives during training are
Have a better understanding of quality mentoring.
Have a better understanding of the program.
Be prepared to start their mentoring relationships.
Better understand working with youth in challenging environments.
Be prepared for a great adventure mentoring!
Mentoring is, simply, the right thing to do. You do not need a particular religious orientation or specific motive to be a mentor in our program. If you are in a position to give of your time—and many of us are—that is all you must have to begin. Use the Contact Form below to sign up today.
We are seeking twelve business owners to join our Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Online Advisory Board. Board members advise us concerning our Street Team Program. This program was developed to help youth living in poverty, earn money while learning critical job skills. Click here to read our full Proposal. For your tax-deductible donation of $2,500 you’ll receive these great benefits:
*Advisory Board Membership with attendance in online meetings and forums with other local business owners and sales professionals.
*Community Based Brand Exposure as a sponsor of the Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Street Team Program. Students in this program will promote your brand on social media, email, print media and events.
*Quarterly Input on Internship Curricula allows you to directly shape the modules our program offer to students based on your hiring needs.
*Mentor Training allows you to work one on one with a student. Mentee will create a quarterly marketing campaign specific to your business. As a mentor, you’ll receive mentor training created using the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring.