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Youth Homelessness - Life Skills -Minutes for March 22, 2012

Attended: Betty Palmer, Brenda Holt, Nancy Souza, David Dickson, Bodhi Simpson, Cindy Manson, Ashalie Wark, Ruth Saint Amand, Connie Ladd, Nancy Findlan, Faye Nicholson, Angela McMahon, Tony Veit
  • Cindy Manson reviewed vision with the group, updated attendees that were unable to make it to last group meeting. Discussed Tom McNeil’s idea about MMTC’s fall 2012 Mass Communication course as a vehicle for developing mini-vignettes for teens to view to learn about different life skills. Faye mentioned that it might be nice to include cooking, sewing, creating, etc. Ashley Wark explained the life skill building trainings at Youth Move and shared their assessment of student interests. Discussion about Kahn Academy trainings being included possibly as well.
  • Nancy Finland mentioned that she would check in with Paula Callan about the Education Initiatives video production being done at Messalonskee.
  • Tony Veit spoke on the topic of “safe homes”. He stated that he isn’t sure how it has progressed – challenges about boundaries and training, matching and licensing issues. Have to be careful about referring someone to a home.
  • Betty Palmer stated that it would be helpful for someone to connect with Yvonne Mickles who is fighting at the state level about licensing issues with foster homes.
  • Nancy Finland reported that the District 5 meeting is next Thursday and there will be discussion about expanding the vocational programming.
  • The group talked extensively about the discussion/findings to date around the topic of Mentors. Nancy Finland stated that she and Lauren Sterling plan on meeting with Pam Kick with Pinnacle about matching students with mentors, a similar model to a dating service. An organization would be needed to do background checks and centralize the system. Concerns of liability, insurance, boundaries, putting teens at risk.
  • Faye reported that Bob Verrill, director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentioned to her that he was open to discussing their model of training with our team. Discussion about how word can get out to general community that we are in need of mentors. Training will be key. RSVP also deals with volunteers, so looking at their model of background checks and training of volunteers. RSVP also and may have volunteers who would be interested in working with youth. Betty Palmer mentioned that it might be worth checking in with Mt. Abram High School about their model.
  • Nancy Finland stated that our team will need to clarify the mentor expectations and questions to match interests and passions for teens and adults after meeting with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
  • Faye stated that we need to wake up the community to this issue. She stated that Amy Calder at the Sentinel is a good advocate for this issue. Possibly she could do a PSA when the team is prepared.
  • Discussion that the computer room at the Waterville Public Library needs to be much larger, possibly use space at Alfond Center, REM bldg, Skills Inc if supervised by volunteer.
  • Discussion about developing possible resource list and list of possible people who would like to donate as needs arise. Also talk about putting Angels on the Tree tags out in community for donations.

ACTION PLAN

Meeting Wizard will be sent out for next meeting for early May

Brenda Holt
– will meet with the Mid Maine Tech Center about their Mass Communications course gaining hands-on education by helping us develop the vignettes to post on the web.

Nancy Finland
– will report District 5 meeting update on vocational piece
– will report on meeting with Pam Kick about matching students with mentors
– will communicate with the Alfond Center about using the computer lab during the day if supervised by volunteers
– will check in with Paula at Messalonskee about how the video production is going

Ruth St. Amand
– will meet with Bob Verrill at Big Brothers/Big Sisters about their model of training mentors

Tony Veit
– will connect with Amy Koehling about progress of safe homes.
– will contact Yvonne Nichols about licensing issues with foster homes and her battle at the state level
- will look into Americorps Lewiston program

Faye
- will talk to Tom Davis about using Skills Inc space for computer lab during the day


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