Each year of the Summer Institute has featured a presentation by Foster Club, a national organization that provides a wealth of supports to youth in foster care, including mentoring. Their “All-Star” program provides leadership development to youth who are aging out of the foster care system. The program trains All-Star participants to travel around the country and advocate on behalf of foster youth in each state, speaking with policymakers, legislative bodies, and others in positions to improve the child welfare system. Here, two All Stars share a powerful message about mentoring: "Come and Find Me -- We are Waiting for Mentors." Find out more about Foster Club at www.fosterclub.org+ More details
Thomas Keller, Ph.D., is the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor for Children, Youth, and Families with an Emphasis on Mentoring in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. He is also Director of the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring and the PSU Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research. Professor Keller studies the development and influence of mentoring relationships in school and community settings and the role of parent involvement in mentoring interventions. Prior to earning his Ph.D., he worked for several years with a Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in Seattle as a caseworker, supervisor, and program director.+ More details
Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D., is Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at University of Texas-San Antonio. Professor Karcher is an expert on cross-age peer mentoring in schools, and he currently is conducting a major study funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation entitled “Effective interactions with Hispanic youth in school-based mentoring.” Professor Karcher is the author of numerous articles on mentoring in school settings, and he is co-editor of the landmark Handbook of Youth Mentoring.+ More details
Dr. Laurie Powers, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for Research in the School of Social Work and Director of the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University. Professor Powers is one of the foremost authorities on promoting self-determination among persons with diverse abilities and fostering successful transition of youth to adulthood. Her research includes the development and experimental evaluation of several interventions involving mentoring and individualized coaching of youth with disabilities.+ More details
Jean Grossman, Ph.D., is Lecturer and Research Associate in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and Senior Vice President for Research with Public/Private Ventures, a national non-profit research and policy organization. She is an expert on after-school and youth mentoring programs, as well as evaluation design. She played leading roles in conducting the seminal PPV multi-site, randomized control design studies of Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based programs (in 1995) and school-based programs (in 2007) and has published numerous follow-up analyses based on data from these projects. Here she discusses issues gender-related issues in youth mentoring relationships as part of the 2008 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring.+ More details
Dr. Sanchez is an expert on the mentoring relationships of Latino adolescents and the role they play in the educational achievement of Latino youth. She has a special interest in cultural processes in volunteer mentoring relationships, especially when mentors and youth are from different races, ethnicities, or cultures. Her current research investigates these issues in one mentoring program for African American and Latina adolescent females and in another program for the diverse high school population in Chicago Public Schools. Here she discusses her work as part of the 2008 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring.+ More details
Dr. Thomas Keller, the director of the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring and the Research Symposium discusses the qualities that mentors serving youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems must have: the ability to innovate and try new approaches to old problems, listening skills that allow them to be attuned to what their mentee is really saying, and a deep interest in learning about their mentee’s needs, strengths, and dreams so that they can provide appropriate supports.+ More details
Leading researcher, Renee Spencer, talks about the many lessons learned from her rich research into mentoring relationships. She emphasizes that making mentoring work is harder than initially thought, and that mentoring relationships suffer from the same inconsistencies, misunderstandings, and challenges as other human relationships.+ More details
Dr. Ahrens presents her important research on the effective skills and traits of mentors working with foster youth. She explores her findings on natural mentors and discusses traits such as persistence, patience, self-disclosure, flexibility, and confidence as they relate to building trusting relationships.+ More details
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