A workshop on Jan. 14 in Auburn will focus on mentoring.

AUBURN – Youth Mentors Inc. will hold a mentoring workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, at the Hilton Garden Hotel. Topics will include mentoring, self-advocacy, finding strengths and building on them and incorporating youth mentoring into a school.

The group was formed in August when 13 youths and seven adults met at Sugarloaf/USA to create a mentoring program for youth with disabilities in the western part of the state. The youth were selected for their leadership skills by their vocational rehabilitation counselor, job developer teacher or transition coordinator.

The youths took the lead from the start as they created the framework for program design, community/public relations, school integration, outcomes and resource development for the mentor program.

The youths participated in team-building activities, work sessions and bonded during free time. They were responsible, ready to work, respected each other’s disability and helped each other. According to the adults present, “It was an amazing two days where the youth had all the answers and we were along for the ride.”

Among the items needed for Youth Mentors Inc. are a mission statement, parental, community and school involvement, a logo and ways to advertise the group.

Youth Mentors Inc. will meet monthly to continue to develop the program, plan activities for January, Youth Mentor Month, and for the year.

The youth at the retreat are either home schooled or attend the following schools: Poland Regional High School, Oak Hill High School in Wales, Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Fryeburg Academy, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Jay High School, Mount Blue High School in Farmington, Telstar High School in Bethel and Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

The adults who recruited the youth for the retreat work at Vocational Rehabilitation, RM-Transition Inc., Maine Parent Federation, Poland Regional High School or Andrews Council on Transition.

For more information on Youth Mentors Inc., call Michelle Williams, regional coordinator at Andrews Council on Transition, at 225-5005 or e-mail her at [email protected]

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