Q&A with David Shapiro: The power of building healthy youth mentoring relationships

Mentoring is all about relationships and the mutual trust that we build with a mentee by consistent commitment and support. As we celebrate January as national #MentoringMonth, it is important that we understand how building bridges and connections between mentor and mentee is a form of social capital that can ultimately lead to youth empowerment and success. A "Social Capitalist" approach to mentoring proves that by forging healthy relationships with youth and leading by example, mentors can provide opportunities to access new networks, teach social norms, and build social capital.

Who knows best the power of youth mentorship than David Shapiro, the CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. David has dedicated his life to creating the vital connections between mentor and mentee, allowing youth across the United States to acknowledge their own self worth and begin their path towards success. We decided to speak with David about his experience with youth mentoring:

Q: What is your definition of a mentor?Read more

SCI Accomplishments: Celebrating 2016 by numbers and stories

As we ring in the new year, SCI would like to take a look back at its many accomplishments of 2016! As a leader in community connection and engagement, SCI has trained and supported young leaders, recruited thousands of volunteers to give back to their communities, and created Web portals allowing individuals to access community resources. By promoting social capital throughout nineteen Eastern Massachusetts towns, SCI has proven that through hard work and dedication we can create healther and happier communities.

In the year 2016:

  • 3732 volunteers gave back to their communities
  • AmeriCorps members, along with the volunteers they recruited, served a total of 52,881 hours - this is the economic equivalent of $1,245,876
  • 362 youth leaders were trained and supported
  • Over 24,000 individuals used SCI's community web portals 

Also in the year 2016:Read more

How SCI AmeriCorps members make a difference as mentors

In honor of national Mentoring Month this January, I decided to look into how some of our very own SCI AmeriCorps members are making a difference as mentors in their community. Both Patience Misner and Bridget Peters are SCI AmeriCorps members serving in Lynn, however at different organizations. Patience serves with Girls Inc. of Lynn and Bridget serves with the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance. As Youth Leadership Coordinators (YLCs), they spend the day navigating the role of mentor and creating positive, empowering relationships with youth. 

Patience and Bridget both have similar definitions of what it means to be a mentor - someone who leads by example and strives to build relationships with mentees through trust, education, and positive encouragement. Key to their definition is also the fact that mentorship provides youth with a supportive role model who helps them understand that their voice matters and that they have the power to make a difference in their community.Read more

Social capital and climate change: What do they have in common?

People don't often see social capital and climate change in the same sentence - or even in the same book. Here, we will explore the interconnections between these two seemingly disparate theories by reviewing Daniel P. Aldrich's recent work, "Social Capital and Climate Change Adaptation." This was published in ORE Climate Science and looks at the relationship between social capital and climate change adaptation behaviors in terms of how people around the world are accomodating their lives to changing environmental conditions. 

Social capital is all about the norms, trustworthiness, and networks that tie people together within and between communities. There are various types of social capital - bonding, bridging, and linking - all of which involve the connections that one has between people. Whether it be your father or your neighbor, the local civic organization down the road, or the state Senator, these social connections help communities work cooperatively and collectively with one another to solve problems, for example protecting against and responding to climate threats. Read more

Six of My 2016 Social Capital Highlights

Wow! I realized it has been over a year since I blogged here on the SCI site. Not for lack of blogging though--as some of you know I share my passion for tasty, healthy food on a blog called Cooking Chat. I thought it would be a good time to look back at some 2016 Social Capital Inc. highlights.

Now that we have grown to serve 19 Massachusetts communities, I don't get to directly witness all the great community building projects that happen as a result of SCI. I will use my blog to highlight some of the activities that I've had a chance to experience. We will share some more comprehensive information about our 2016 accomplishments soon. Read more