Planning helps mentoring group blossom
The Rose Circle Mentoring Network opened its doors in 2005. At the time, organizers didn’t realize how fast it would take off. The group, which offers mentoring opportunities for youth in southern Oregon, began by providing community circles for girls. The circle is a place where the skills of listening, witnessing, sharing and supporting each other are modeled and taught.
Since 2005, the organization has expanded its activities to include mentor trainings for 60 or more people each year and individual mentorship matches for both boys and girls. Last year, a grant from the Carpenter Foundation enabled the group to provide mentoring for pregnant and parenting teens.
Our goals are well ahead of schedule
After two members of the board attended Ford Institute-sponsored training, the board decided it needed to examine its policies and chart a path for the future. In 2010, Rose Circle received a Technical Assistance Grant from The Ford Family Foundation to develop a strategic plan.
“We not only created this document, but have exceeded our expectations in implementing it,” says Karsten Peterson, co-executive director of the group. “With an updated mission and value statement we have reassessed our goals as an organization.”
Today, the Rose Circle has expanded its programs into schools, incorporated more at-risk youth in various programs, and increased the numbers of talking circles offered. The group has also expanded its geographic scope, providing services to new parts of Rogue Valley, with plans for more expansion. Two part-time directors were hired, and new office space was procured.
“Our goals are well ahead of schedule,” Peterson says. “We are also in collaboration with partnering organizations to create new programs such as working more with public schools and providing mentorship opportunities to pregnant teens and new mothers.”
Oregon Mentors recently selected the Rose Circle to participate in its Quality-Based Mentoring initiative, which will help the group increase the quality of the services it offers. “By the end of 2012, we will hold national ranking in quality mentorship,” Peterson says. “We are well on our way to establishing a sustained structure to reach more youth needing mentoring support.