Tag Archives: 4-H mentoring

Mentors and mentees have fun and strengthen relationships at 4-H Mentoring Weekend

The 7th Annual 4-H Mentoring Weekend brought together mentors and mentees from throughout the state July 18‒20 at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. The event boasted 73 participants representing both one-on-one and small group mentoring.

Staff and volunteers pose for a photo at the 7th Annual 4-H Mentoring Weekend

Staff and volunteers pose for a photo at the 7th Annual 4-H Mentoring Weekend that took place July 18‒20 at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. Photo credit: Ronald Wells, 4-H Tech Wizards mentor

The theme of “Backpack to Adventure” allowed attendees to explore cultures throughout the world. Mentees included young people aged 11 to 19. The event provided a chance for mentors and mentees to participate together in various workshops and activities as well as enjoy the opportunities offered on the Kettunen Center grounds such as playing disc golf and exploring hiking trails.

Mentors and mentees chose from a wide variety of workshops including such activities as volleyball, looming, archery, basketball, solar model car building, fishing, swimming and canoeing. Attendees made their own salsa and healthy snacks, tie-dyed T-shirts, made superhero masks, edited their own videos and learned the basics of the Chinese Children’s Ribbon Dance. Some chose to test their skills and strength on “B’Onko’s Boot Camp Obstacle Course.” Some participated in “Messy Games” to develop life skills such as cooperation and problem solving. And of course, it wouldn’t be 4-H Mentoring Weekend without the popular Jell-O Wars.

A highlight of the weekend was Carnival Night, which included Nintendo Wii and board games, karaoke and a photo booth.

Participants also took part in a service project in which they made rubber band “Rainbow Loom” bracelets for military men and women. They also wrote short notes of thanks to them in appreciation for their service to our country.

Michigan State University senior Extension specialist Lisa Bottomley provided leadership for the event on behalf of the Capacity Building work group.

Staff, volunteers, mentors and mentees at the 7th Annual 4-H Mentoring Weekend

Staff, volunteers, mentors and mentees take a break from the fun at the 7th Annual 4-H Mentoring Weekend that took place July 18‒20 at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. Photo credit: Lisa Bottomley

“The goal of the workshop is for mentees and mentors to have a fun weekend and strengthen their relationship while trying new things and learning together. We provide a mix of recreational and learning activities,” said Lisa.

Other members of the leadership team included program coordinator Susan Fenton (co-chair for the event), Extension educator Frank Cox (co-chair for the event), Extension educator Scott Lakin (past chair), program coordinator Dequindre Bell (past chair), and student worker Scott Victor, who worked on registration and other preparation for the event.

Extension educators Jan Brinn and Sara Keinath from the Leadership and Civic Engagement work group joined the Capacity Building work group to incorporate the world culture theme throughout the weekend and to lead small and large group sessions.

Other staff involved in planning and staffing the event included Extension educator Tom Long, and program coordinators Barb Brow, Lisa Kelley, Anetria Rhodes and Will Shemer as well as program worker Barb Steele and associate program leader B’Onko Sadler.

AmeriCorps members involved included Kerry Hochradel, LaTonya Terry, Joe Barczyk and MavaMarie Cooper.

Congratulations to all on a successful event!

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Extension staff member wins national technology award

Many of our Michigan State University Extension staff members are busy earning advanced degrees while continuing to work full-time for our organization. MSU Extension 4-H associate program leader Molly Frendo has not only been pursuing a Ph.D. in educational psychology and educational technology (EPET) at the MSU College of Education, she has also won a national award while balancing both worlds. Molly has been selected to receive the National University Technology Network (NUTN) 2013 Student Recognition Award.

NUTN is a consortium of higher education institutions that provides a networking and professional development arena for the advancement of teaching and learning. The NUTN Student Recognition Award recognizes students whose use of distance learning has been both exemplary and impactful in providing opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Molly received the award because of her use of technology in contributing to her work and in advancing her own goals personally.

MSU faculty members Punya Mishra and Leigh Graves Wolf nominated Molly for the award, which she’ll receive Sept. 17 in Albuquerque, N.M., at Network 2013, the NUTN annual conference.

Molly has been at the forefront of advancing technology in Extension, lending her expertise in the area of volunteer management and administration.

She helped create a virtual community of AmeriCorps volunteers through Moodle. She’s led and co-led a variety of workshops on technology on topics such as creating effective and engaging webinars, facilitating effective conference calls and using social networking in a professional manner. More recently, the topics have included using virtual communities to support volunteer retention and using technology to build capacity in volunteer administration. Additionally, she was the closing keynote speaker for the 2013 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism, where the title of her speech was “Finding your Sense of Adventure: Technology and the 21st Century Volunteer.”

In addition, she used MSUE-developed curriculum to teach Grand Valley State University undergraduate social work students about setting appropriate boundaries on- and offline. She was a project manager for the recently published 4-H mentoring curriculum Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit. She also helped launch 4-H Tech Wizards in Michigan.

Active in eXtension, she’s co-facilitated online professional development on both the Learn and Campus sides of the Internet-based collaborative environment. She co-leads the eXtension Community of Practice focused on volunteer administration. She serves on the 2014 National eXtension conference committee, the MSUE I-Team (eXtension Institutional Team) committee and the I-Team website committee. She received an I-Team award last year at Fall Extension Conference for use of technology in programming.

Molly said, “My work here in Extension never was really meant to focus on technology (which is kind of the funny thing!), but I got started in the area of technology through running the AmeriCorps program and using Moodle to do an online community there. It was so successful that we thought about the ways that it could be helpful in other 4-H volunteer environments. In doing this work, we’ve been able to envision the role that technology can and should play on a wider level within the Cooperative Extension Service. There’s a lot of potential for us to innovate how we serve the public and partner together across the country – but the skill set to do that effectively is a new one and we’re working on equipping everyone to do it well. I’ve really enjoyed my work in this area; it’s what prompted me to begin my Ph.D. in this area to be more prepared to serve Extension on a broad level.”

Congratulations, Molly! And thanks for sharing your innovative spirit with MSUE!

Read more here: http://edwp.educ.msu.edu/news/2013/phd-student-wins-national-recognition/

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Mentors and mentees find community of peers at 4-H Mentoring Weekend

Many of us had parents or other adults in our lives who made a difference. We had someone we could count on for wise advice and a listening ear – maybe an older sibling, a teacher or a 4-H leader. Often kids may be searching for guidance and support but they lack strong role models. That’s where 4-H Youth Mentoring comes in. The program matches caring individuals with young people to provide support, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples.

For the sixth year, an event took place that helps to strengthen the youth mentoring community across Michigan. More than 90 participants congregated at Kettunen Center in Tustin July 19‒21 to take part in 4-H Mentoring Weekend. Michigan State University Extension 4-H mentoring educator Scott Lakin and Extension program instructor Dequindre Bell co-chaired the event under the leadership of campus staff Lisa Bottomley, senior Extension specialist, and Molly Frendo, associate program leader.

Senior Extension educator Barb Duvall and Extension educator Frank Cox led mentors and mentees from around the state in activities focused on financial literacy at this camp-style weekend themed “Making Cents for Life.”

In addition, participants explored conservation education, science literacy, service learning and healthy living. Mentoring partners strengthened their relationships through fun and interactive activities both indoors and outdoors, taking advantage of Kettunen Center’s beautiful setting on Center Lake.

Other Extension staff members who helped out with the event included Danielle Abrams, Kea Boyd, Barb Brow, Jessica Cotton, Lizz Duran, Susan Fenton, Derrick Harrison, Lisa Kelley, Jennifer Lasslett, Aaron Lawrence, Kim Lewis, Anetria Rhodes, B’Onko Sadler, Edward Scott, Katie Sosin, Barb Steele and Scott Victor.

Besides the learning and the fun, 4-H Mentoring Weekend provides both mentors and mentored youth with a community of peers who share their experiences.

To get an idea of the exciting atmosphere at the event, watch the following kid-produced video from the 4-H Mentoring Weekend Press Corp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-wnodtXCYg&feature=youtu.be

All I can say is “Jell-O Wars!”

Find photos of the event on Michigan 4-H Youth Mentoring’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/michigan4hyouthmentoring.

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Extension volunteer becomes Governor’s Mentor of the Year

Nic Bottomley received the Governor’s Mentor of the Year Service Award July 23 at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. The Mentor of the Year award is one of the Governor’s Service awards that pays tribute to outstanding volunteers throughout Michigan. Nic is a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Grand Rapids through D.A. Blodgett.

Nic has many Michigan State University Extension connections. He’s married to MSU senior Extension specialist Lisa Bottomley. As you may have noticed, Extension spouses have a long history of volunteering for our organization.

Nic and his Big Brothers Big Sisters mentee Austin have become part of the Michigan 4-H Youth Development family by actively participating at five 4-H Mentoring weekends. Nic has delivered professional development webinars for the Children and Youth Institute on digital risk and safety, using his expertise as a juvenile probation officer and therapist who works mainly with youth who have committed sexual offenses. Nic also serves as an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). He has partnered with MSU Extension by having associate program leader Molly Frendo use MSUE-developed curriculum to teach GVSU undergraduate social work students about setting appropriate boundaries both on- and offline.

Congratulations, Nic, and thanks for all you’ve done for Extension!

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Extension educator receives White House Champion of Change Award

Michigan State University Extension 4-H educator Kea Boyd received a White House Champion of Change Award Oct. 9 with 11 other leaders from 4-H and the FFA at an event in the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington D.C. Each week, the White House recognizes a different group of Americans who are making positive change in their communities.

Kea was the first staff member hired to coordinate the Wayne County 4-H Mentoring Program. In her role, Kea oversees day-to-day mentoring program activities and provides supervision and support to 4-H mentoring staff members working with mentor/mentee case management. She also oversees mentor and mentee pre-match and on-going training, and efforts to communicate with volunteers, parents and young people. She creates connections to support mentees and mentors.

Each Champion of Change writes a blog that appears on the Champions of Change website. Please make sure you take the time to read Kea’s blog, “Conquer the Unthinkable.” She does a tremendous job of explaining the role of 4-H and then more specifically the role of the Wayne County 4-H Mentoring Program.

Kea is quick to give credit to others in the program.

“I didn’t accept the award on my behalf but on the behalf of the whole Wayne County and statewide 4-H mentoring programs. I also accepted the award on behalf of all the mentors who have participated in the program and the youth who benefited from the program,” Kea said.

She found receiving the award a very humbling experience creating memories she will pass on to young people in the program.

Kea said, “I couldn’t believe that I was sitting in the White House and connecting with USDA and National 4-H staff members. I wish I could have met the president or first lady but they were busy campaigning.”

Read Kea’s biography on the White House Champions of Change website.

Read more in this Lansing State Journal article and this Detroit News article.

Congratulations, Kea!

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