A circle is a safe place for youth to share their truths.
Rogue Valley Mentoring Circles consist of a group of 11-15 youth, and 2-3 background-checked, trained staff or volunteer Mentors, who meet to discuss things that matter to youth, and to problem-solve together, helping them to build life skills. We bring snacks, games, and crafts; we build trust by showing up, and listening to youth. We remind youth that what they think, feel, and need is important, and we support school staff by providing another layer of support to their students.
Youth move chairs to sit in a circle, and each group creates their own agreements about how they will treat each other during the circle time. Common Circle Agreements include, “We’ll listen when others are talking.” or “We’ll respect one another’s differences.” Youth are not required to share, and may always choose to ‘pass’. Themes often arise from in circles, and Lead Mentors support discussion of topics youth are bringing. Mentors are not therapists or counselors; we know that how youth choose to handle their lives now, sets the tone for how they’re going to handle things later in life. We use the circle because it gives everyone a space and chance to talk with each other, share ideas, and also have fun together.
This work supports the entire school by reducing the workload of school counselors, and allowing teachers to focus on academic instruction, rather than behavioral intervention. Our mentoring circles have been shown to reduce disruptive student behavior in classrooms, and intervene early in student crises. We collaborate with local public schools and school districts to provide these circles free-of-charge to families. By providing free mentoring during school hours, RVM is able to address some of the largest barriers in providing support to youth, including transportation, cost, and time.
Meet the whole RVM Team here!
Our School Circles are facilitated by RVM staff Lead Mentors, and some awesome, specially-trained volunteers:
everyone is supported by our Program Director, Kat DeCayette.
All RVM staff and volunteers are carefully background checked and vetted, then thoroughly trained in concepts and skills important to building resilience and empowering youth. Trainings including strengths-based communication, trauma-informed care, adolescent development, avoiding bias, youth mental health, suicide intervention, and de-escalation. All staff undergo on-going training, and background checks are conducted every 2 years.