Pictured (left to right): Char Barnes, Kent Hunt and Katlin Okamoto
As you may know, January is National Mentoring Month, and all month long, NRPA has been sharing content around how mentoring through parks and recreation is helping youth develop positive connections with trusted and caring adults, which we know can support their long-term success.
National Mentoring Month is an annual opportunity to spread awareness of the power of mentoring. It serves as a reminder of the critical role park and recreation professionals play in providing youth development and youth mentoring services in local communities across the country.
We were thrilled to have a conversation with three individuals who have a lot of experience when it comes to the power of mentoring: Katlin Okamoto, director of Coach-Mentor Training at U.S. Soccer Foundation; Char Barnes, a park and recreation professional who previously worked in Columbus, Ohio; and Kent Hunt, NRPA’s program manager of health.
These three shared some wonderful insight on mentoring, and while they all shared from different perspectives, it all boiled down to one thing: Mentoring is essential, and park and recreation professionals are likely already serving as mentors in their communities, whether they realize it or not.
Tune in to our full conversation below to hear from Katlin, Char and Kent. You’ll also learn:
- How mentoring changes the lives of youth and adults
- What it means to have a “mentoring mindset”
- How to embrace and implement a mentoring mindset approach in your programs
- Advice for starting a mentoring program in your community
- Resources available to support your mentoring programs
- And much more!
Listen to the episode for the full story.
- NRPA’s Mentoring Resources
- Contact NRPA’s Mentoring Team
- U.S. Soccer Foundation Coach-Mentor Training
- U.S. Soccer Foundation Coach-Mentor Training (PDF flyer)
- Contact U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Coach-Mentor Training Program
- Blog Post: Three Strategies to Engage Mentors to Support Youth Development
- Blog Post: Engaging Families Leads to Profound Impacts for Youth in Mentoring Programs
- Blog Post: Elevating the Spirit of Service in Youth