February 21, 2013 Newsletter

Call for Presenters

November 5 – 7, 2013
Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta
Last Day For Submissions is February 22, 2013


It’s About Inspiring Lives

NOVEMBER 5 – 7, 2013


Deadline for submissions: February 22, 2013


Overview of Symposium
This symposium will celebrate 100 years of mentoring across Canada by showcasing innovative mentoring partnerships, practices, programs and research and by setting the stage for mentoring in the future. The event will strive to advance the unique contributions of mentoring to the well‑being of children and youth, volunteer mentors and communities.
The event is co-hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and The Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP).
Call for Presentations
The National Mentoring Symposium Program Committee is inviting abstracts featuring evidence or promising practices relevant to the four presentation themes listed below. Presentations are not limited to academic research. Practice and community based-innovations, as well as youth presentations are encouraged. Presentations can be presented as part of the concurrent sessions or cracker barrel.
Cracker Barrel Presentations

A cracker barrel session allows multiple presentations in the same room. Each presenter has ten to fifteen (10-15) minutes to describe their work to a group of 15-20 participants at a table. After each 10-15 minute presentation, the participants will be asked to move to another presenter. The presenters remain at the same table in the room and present to the next round of participants.

There is no audio/visual equipment used during Cracker Barrel presentations, but presenters are encouraged to bring table-top displays and handouts.

Presentation Streams
There are four presentation streams. Please indicate which of the four streams your presentation fits within. Innovative Partnerships to Support Mentoring
Mentee and Mentor Perspectives
Mentoring with special populations or in special settings
Tools, Resources and Training
Speaker Travel, Accommodation and Registration Fees
If selected, all presenters and their accompanying team members/colleagues will be responsible for costs related to travel, accommodation and symposium registration fees.
Click here to fill out a call for presentations form.

Mentoring Tips for Body-Image, Self-Image, and Self-Acceptance

The latest newsletter from The Friends for Youth’s Mentoring Institute shared a great article on body image and self-image, including a variety of useful resources for mentors.
For many adolescents, the changes they’re going through – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially – can be overwhelming and given the media-saturated environments we now all live in, they receive so many conflicting messages about who and what they should be. For girls, body image and self-image is a critical issue. In 2011, Dove® released the findings of its largest global study to date on women’s relationship with beauty, The Real Truth About BeautyRevisited. The study revealed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful and that anxiety about looks begins at an early age. In a study of over 1,200 girls between the ages of 10 to 17, a majority, 72%, said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. The study also found that only 11% of girls around the world feel comfortable using the word beautiful to describe their looks, showing that there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older.
Mentoring relationships have the power to help a young woman as she may potentially be struggling with self-acceptance. These tips may be helpful for mentors whose mentees are beginning to talk about their bodies and social interactions. While it may seem more relevant for female mentees, it may be useful to review for all mentors, as male mentees are receiving the same messages and have expectations about the opposite gender.
Notice how your mentee talks about body image and self-acceptance. What does your mentee say about her own body? Does she make comments about other girls’ and women’s figures or clothing? Much of what is presented in the media about girls and women is unrealistic and unattainable: they must be tall, thin, model-beautiful, usually white or light-colored, and will put other females down to move ahead. The levels of subversiveness and sophistication of advertising and marketing has also increased, so these messages may not be as obvious as they may have been when you were her age. Ask your mentee to share what she is reading, watching, listening to and engaging with – you can learn a lot about the current level of media exposure and begin talking about these messages.  Listen actively for subtle responses to these messages – is she paying attention to this representation of girls and women? Is she paying attention or getting support for other ways of thinking about being a female?
Emphasize the positive about health in your conversations. When you talk about body image and portrayals of women and girls, make sure that you’re emphasizing being healthy, taking care of yourself, and feeling comfortable in your own skin. It may take some time (and many conversations!), but you can provide an alternative voice to what it means to be a healthy and happy woman in our culture. Part of emphasizing the positive is decreasing the negative:  don’t speak negatively about yourself or your image when you’re with your mentee and don’t talk about foods you shouldn’t be eating because you don’t want to put on weight. Instead, remember to talk about the beauty you see in your mentee and all of the non-physical positive attributes she has. Some questions you can ask:
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • How do you want to feel about your own unique beauty?
  • What can I do to help you feel confident?
You can also identify women in both your lives whom you admire for qualities that are beautiful both inside and out. Talk about your choices and choose some new additions based on your talks. Don’t forget to share your experiences and what you have learned about being ok with yourself. It’s ok if you’re still working on it, too; this level of honesty can deepen trust and rapport with your mentee.Seek out positive activities to address healthy body image. Move beyond conversations and engage in activities that will help your mentee know through experience that it’s healthy to be active, eat well, and take care of herself as well as be a positive person. A great resource is the Eat Well Stay Healthy Have Fun Guide for Mentors from the Harvard Mentoring Project. You can also try some of the gender-specific ideas from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, like a Self-Esteem Scavenger HuntBoost Book, Positive Playlist, or New Moves & Grooves. Together, check out the Love Your Body, Change Your World Action Kit from Girls for A Change. You can also view films or read books that attempt to deconstruct negative media messages. One suggestion is MissRepresentation (2012); you can view the trailers for online or seek out or even sponsor a screening in your community. Your program may also have connections with others who provide workshops or consultation in this area; be sure to check with them for possible activity ideas.Talk to your program coordinator if your mentee’s responses seem extreme. If your mentee’s views, values, or habits seem extreme or exceptionally unhealthy, talk with your program coordinator for more advice and resources. Too many girls and women in our culture experience eating disorders and body dysmorphia; if it seems like your mentee is headed in this direction, consulting with a professional may help and the earlier, the better.Retrieved From Mentoring Tips. (2013, February), Friends for Youth’s Mentoring Institute.

Learning About FASD – A Seminar and Webinar

AMP Members might be interested in registering to attend this free event/webinar on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. More details can be found below. To register for this event please click here.

Connecting Student and Employers – A World Of Opportunities 

AMP members might be interested in this event in Calgary on March 7 that will connect Aboriginal youth and employers. Please email monique.fry@calgary.ca by March 1 to RSVP.

What Would Happen If Your Child Shared Time With An Older Adult

This great article from LINKages shows the benefits that a positive relationship between youth and older adults can have.
For young people to grow up healthy, caring and responsible we know there are certain building blocks required for their development. Not only do they require family support, they require positive relationships that can encourage and make them feel valued. Conversely, older adults who experience life transitions, and changing abilities, may become more isolated and lonely leading to feelings of depression or beliefs that they are under-valued. However research tells us that when given the opportunity to interact with a young person, they realize their importance in the world by sharing knowledge and wisdom to future generations. For almost twenty years, LINKages programs and services have been developing, and supporting these meaningful exchanges, truly developing friendships between two generations.
Changing Attitudes and Building Communities:
The development of community cohesion and ability to transfer knowledge and experience between ages is becoming increasing challenging. When people are separated by age, this can cause negative perceptions, fear, and lack of generational understanding and respect. LINKages develops strategies and programs that recognize the unique strengths of each generation forming positive relationships. Through a collaborative approach we build communities that increase a sense of belonging and developing new attitudes with historical and cultural knowledge.
Our Shared Commitment
Alberta’s population is rapidly aging and all sectors are working to address the growing concern of senior isolation and segregation. At the same time young people are requiring more opportunities to develop communication and leadership skills and find a useful role in the community. LINKages programs and activities integrate a life-course perspective into all our services, translating into enhanced personal growth for both ages. With your support we will continue to play an active role throughout Alberta and develop compassionate, cohesive and healthy communities to grow up, and grow old in.
Creating Solutions:
LINKages is uniquely positioned to offer innovative solutions to help solve age segregation and create opportunities for both ages to grow and feel valued. With the belief and support of others we will continue to develop programs that involve the sharing of skills, knowledge and experience between young and old, building respect and understanding between the ages.
LINKAGES Society of Alberta is a Calgary-based nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to encourage young people to reach out to seniors in thoughtful and meaningful ways. For more information on LINKages Society please visit www.link-ages.ca

Mount Royal University – Learn and Lead

If you and/or your organization are looking to broaden the communication of an event or program, a professional development opportunity, a mentoring success story, or valuable resource, contact us

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