On behalf of all of us at Coaching For Change, we wanted to offer everyone continued wishes of support, and provide an update to address how we are handling this unprecedented time. We hope that you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe, both physically and emotionally. This is a challenging moment as individuals and as a society, impacting our home life, our professional life, and our surrounding communities.
As you know, C4C recruits and trains diverse college students to work with local high school students and run after school programs for middle school students. These college students are mentored and coached by teams of amazing teachers at our school partners in Taunton, Fall River, and Lexington via the METCO program (serving mostly Boston residents).
Overview of the Challenges Facing C4C
We are all witnessing the changing landscapes in colleges, universities, and schools adapting most activities to online learning, and leaving school buildings and entire campuses empty. Even in the face of this crisis, C4C is committed to finding ways to support our most economically vulnerable college, high school, and middle school students. During the 2019-2020 school year, we are serving 430 college, high school, and middle school students. We intend to continue our service to all partners and participants despite the new circumstances and unforeseen shifts. We will continue to innovate and push forward collaboratively to ensure C4C mentoring and development strategies are driven by meaningful experiences for our mentors and mentees alike.
C4C has been working to pull the community together and still ensure we are ready to go when schools return. We wanted to share an update on where we are:
Firstly, we are keeping C4C staff safe. We have shifted to fully virtual operations with all employees working from home and a stoppage of work travel. Thanks to video calls and conference lines, we have maintained our meeting schedules including our weekly team building activities. We’re fortunate to continue our work and build on the great culture we have established over the last 10 years.
What C4C is Doing
We are piloting a “Virtual C4C Mentoring Model.” The physical and social isolation is causing disruption to the support networks of our vulnerable students. We have started to move to a virtual platform that reconnects C4C mentors and mentees to provide emotional support. C4C is working with our teachers and college mentors to create a series of personalized videos that will be sent to our middle school students. Currently, we have 18 college students making a minimum of 2 videos each. C4C is working with all of our teachers to identify agreed upon and appropriate methods to facilitate and nurture relationships via a virtual platform. We are figuring out how we can roll the program out in ‘cohorts’ so our teachers, college mentors, and middle school students can maintain the bond that was created during the school year. Our goal is to empower our teams of teachers and mentors to use social media and technology more creatively during this period of social distancing, to ensure young people feel connected and find new ways to better navigate their own circumstances. View some of the videos here.
We hope that all of you who have financially supported C4C in the past will consider supporting C4C right now during this unprecedented time. We are excited to pilot the virtual programming and continue to serve our school partners, while we prepare for our return in person the day schools reopen. Please consider a donation to C4C to make this a reality for hundreds of students in our most vulnerable communities.
Marquis Taylor & Pete Berman, Co-Founders of Coaching For Change