By Michelle Urberg
In my last post, I previewed The GOALS Project, a organization that serves teen parents in the CU-area. The success of The GOALS Project for its participants is clear from the changes that it helped to make in Nadia Diaz’s life, but she is not the only one to benefit!
GOALS’ dedicated team of volunteers feel strongly they are making a difference in the lives of the program participants. One mentor—and Chambanamoms reader—Sarah Ambrose who described her meaningful experience with her mentee:
The first night we met was at the monthly workshop. We discussed her goals in the areas of career, parenting, and school. Her goals were to continue breastfeeding, pass her classes for the final semester, and to start applying for jobs when the school year ended. We discussed ways that I could help her maintain her progress and continue moving forward.
Celebrating the small victories with my mentee has made me proud of her and myself for being there to help another mother through her first steps of parenting. My level of commitment was small, but so impactful. It made me feel accomplished, and I am forever grateful for that. Our time together over the past six months has been simple: taking walks at a park, going to the library, riding together to the monthly workshops, and helping her out with a ride to her son’s well-child appointment. Mainly, a simple text was all it took to make that meaningful connection.
She has met her goals listed above, and is ready to meet her next set of goals. I could not be more proud and impressed with the positive choices she is making for herself and her family.
If you want the same fulfilling challenge of working with young women between the ages 13 and 21 or with children (newborns to age 6), The GOALS Project is always looking to add new mentors and childcare workers to their volunteer staff.
Mentors: As a GOALS mentor, you are asked to work with your mentee—a pregnant or parenting mom—between 5 and 10 hours a month. Part of this time is spent at the monthly workshops where mentors and mentees gather to set goals, work on self-esteem, or learn about parenting skills. Outside of these meetings, mentors stay in contact with their mentees on a weekly basis through email, text, Facebook, or phone conversations. And, mentors meet up with their mentees once a month, outside of the group meeting, to see how things are going.
Childcare volunteers: The GOALS Project provides childcare for its participants at every group meeting. This allows mentors and the workshop leaders to have the full attention of the moms (and it gives the moms a break!). The time commitment for our childcare volunteers is about 2 hours a month, during the workshops.
Or, if you feel passionate about the mission of The GOALS Project, but know that mentoring or childcare isn’t quite for you, The GOALS Project also offers other types of opportunities.
Volunteering: Do you have time and talents you can devote to administrative, fundraising, writing or community outreach tasks? Love writing blog posts? Have a great idea for collaboration with GOALS and another organization? Know how to network in the CU-area? Have connections to grants or know how to write successful grant proposals? We would love to have you!
Donations: The GOALS Project always welcomes donations of diapers, formula, or gently used books. They also welcome donations of children’s clothing and shoes for newborn through children’s size 5.
Michelle is on the Board of Directors for The GOALS Project. When she isn’t volunteering, she is currently spending her time writing her dissertation about music in medieval Sweden, running half marathons, and watching films.