By; Mary Baird
Dr. Charisse Nixon and I just attended The 9th Annual Mentoring Conference hosted by the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. This conference draws hundreds of people from across the US who genuinely love kids and want the best for them! First, my two striking observations of the state of NM– one bring sunglasses it is BRIGHT outside! The second: remember you are up about 5,000 feet vertically which accounts for the extra bright factor.
The conference was really great! There were a few keynote speakers that were simply amazing; we wished they had longer sessions.
- Dr. Jean Rhodes, from University of Massachusetts in Boston – she is the guru of mentoring. She just enthralled us and we went up and talked with her after her session. Dr. Nixon has already been in contact with her post conference.
- Also, Dr. Wendy Murphy from Babson College and Chad Littlefield representing the company We! both of these speakers were exciting- it was just a thrill to be an audience member.
Our workshop featuring The Mentor Project at Behrend was a high note of the conference for us. We talked about the project, looked over data from the past year and ended our session with a musical slideshow featuring this year’s mentors and mentees! Several people approached us following our workshop so there may be interesting relationships developing this upcoming year due to our conference participation!
This is my first ever Mentoring Conference. I really enjoyed the passion of many of the workshop presenters, and the depth and breadth of materials. Overall though, I left this conference knowing there are adults all over our country caring deeply about kids and their positive growth and development. The recognition that every child deserves a mentor is powerful!
At Penn State Behrend we are trying to do our part through The Mentor Project. Please join us in our efforts!