By: Jenni Marsh—
Muncie, Indiana—In every iteration of Muncie Action Plan (MAP), community members identified developing a “mentoring program” as a priority. Yet, it has been one of the most challenging action items within the plan to address.
“People want to be sure kiddos have mentors in order to prevent them engaging in risky behaviors, and they also want mentors for themselves,” said MAP Board President Jenni Marsh.
Derek Peterson is an international speaker and founder of the Institute for Community and Adolescent Resiliency who has studied the value of positive adult role models and mentorship. Through his research for the federal government, Derek discovered several key factors—including how many mentors youth need in order to reduce risky behavior and become more resilient, healthy, happy adults.
“Derek’s approach is not a program—it’s a grassroots initiative that builds a culture in which youth are empowered to identify and recruit supportive adults, and those adults have diverse support systems to support the youth’s success,” Marsh explained.
MAP is pleased to be bringing this work to our community. With funding from United Way of Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties, George and Frances Ball Foundation, and Ball State University’s Office of Community Engagement, Derek Peterson is coming to Muncie for two open to the public evening presentations. Childcare will be provided by the YMCA at both of the evening presentations.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Muncie Central High School auditorium, Marsh will give a very brief update from MAP and Derek will present the Web of Support.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Muncie Central High School auditorium, Derek will present the Web of Support again.
These two public presentations will follow two sessions of two-day intensive trainings in which youth and adults will learn how do this work. Over 100 people will be trained over these two sessions.
“Annually, MAP’s Task Force Chairs have addressed a crowd of our loyal attendees and provided a report on the great things happening in Muncie,” Marsh said. “This year, we wanted to maximize our time with the community sharing this important approach—and helping our community discover the mentoring it has been longing for.”