A Volunteer Program for Teens Who Want to Lead
Imagine you are the kind of person you’ve always wanted to be.
What is a Mindful Mentor?
Mindful Mentors are teens who want to make a difference. Advantage Kids seeks out teenagers who are leaders – or who want to be – to mentor small groups of younger kids in our Tennis PLUS programs.
Mindful Mentors are trained at the Gilford Headquarters over the course of eight hours: Saturday, May 2nd and Saturday, May 16th both from 9am-1pm. Volunteers will learn:
- How to lead an opening circle (take attendance, outline goals of the day, review tennis safety)
- Behavioral management techniques (like breathing & movement to calm kids down)
- How to forge relationships with their mentees
- Social-emotional learning and emotional literacy (how to identify, talk about, and manage emotions)
- Yoga games for kids
- Tennis games for kids
- How to assist a tennis coach on the court
- Yoga basics (so they can help model poses and breath)
- Proactive inclusion and anti-bullying
Then, once the season starts, our Mindful Mentors will show up at Tennis PLUS lessons twice a week for six weeks to help coaches, yoga instructors, and Advantage Kids administration with the above responsibilities. They’ll take “ownership” of their small group of 3-5 younger kids, during their tennis + yoga + meditation lessons and help the Advantage Kids staff understand how the kids are doing.
What do Mindful Mentors get out of this?
The rewards package for Mentors includes:
- 40 hours of logged, documented community service/volunteer hours
- Two Letters of Recommendation (one from their coach, one from AK Administration) -these are great for college and job applications!
- A Certificate of Leadership for completing the Mindful Mentor Training (an 8 hour training course)
But it’s about so much more than rewards on paper, isn’t it?
Mindful Mentors are making a real difference in their communities by showing up for these kids every week. Advantage Kids focuses our FREE Junior Tennis PLUS programs on under-resourced kids who otherwise may not have opportunities like this. We teach tennis, a lifelong sport, for free. We also infuse our programs with mindfulness through yoga and meditation, which gives kids the skills to cope with whatever life throws at them.
Kids who play tennis and meditate do better in school, are more focused, are less anxious, and experience higher self-esteem.
What does Advantage Kids expect from a Mindful Mentor?
Mindful Mentors are making a big commitment. They will complete 8 hours of training in Gilford in May. They’ll show up for their group of 3-5 kids every week, twice a week, for six weeks this summer. and when we say “show up,” we mean they will be there for their kiddos, emotionally, authentically + courageously. They will model for them the kind of person they can be – the kind of person they deserve to be.
We expect Mindful Mentors to have reliable transportation, be on time, and be committed to focusing on their kids while they are mentoring, and take direction from Advantage Kids coaches and staff.
We expect our Mindful Mentors to be role models.
Do Mindful Mentors need to be tennis players or yogis?
No! We train each Mindful Mentor to be able to do what they need to do on the courts. They may pick up some tennis, yoga, and meditation, but it’s not a prerequisite.
Where do the Mindful Mentors volunteer?
We have Tennis PLUS programs in Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Tilton, and Gilford. Teens can apply for a specific town, and can even request to be placed with a friend. We will do our best to place kids where they want to be, but we can’t guarantee preferred placement.
How do I sign up?
All applicants must complete the online application form before APRIL 17th. Applicants will be notified within two weeks of applying whether they are Mindful Mentors or if we need further information. All parents/guardians of applicants under 18 years old will be required to sign a Waiver and Release in addition to the online application.