LA2050

With Friends of the Family and the Man2Man Project, young teens are training to become responsible fathers

Posted September 7, 2017 by Friends of the Family

Wow! What a great six months we have had launching the Man2Man Project!

The M2M Project has two main components:

  1. The Young Dads Impact Team
  2. The Adult Mentoring Program for the Young Dads

The first group of Mentors are now actively engaged with their mentees. The Young Dads received training about male responsibility in pregnancy prevention and practical ways to deal with real-life situations. These trainings will be incorporated into the Young Dads Impact Team presentations at local schools in the San Fernando Valley, North Hills, and Pacoima!

The Young Dads Impact Team, a name they chose for themselves, has been busy honing their presentation skills so they are prepared to visit local middle and high schools this fall to talk about what it's REALLY like to be a Young Dad and how important it is for teenage guys to take responsibility for preventing pregnancy.

The major challenge we have faced with the M2M Project has been recruitment of volunteer mentors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that volunteerism has decreased over the past five years and, compared to women, men are less likely to volunteer. To address and overcome this challenge, we have turned to pushing on social media, online networks, and presentations at community meetings. We also decided to establish two cohorts of mentors which has allowed the program to stagger the training and onboarding process. Currently, the second cohort of mentors is being interviewed, screened, and trained.

Although the M2M Project originally targeted metrics in LA2050's “Connect" goal category, we realize that the Project will also impact metrics in the “Live" goal category, as detailed below:

CONNECT:

  • Rates of Volunteerism:
    • Man2Man program provides community members the opportunity to volunteer as mentors to young dads.
    • Young Dad Impact Team members volunteer to conduct community presentations at local schools on the importance of teen pregnancy prevention.
  • Social and Emotional Support
    • Adult mentors provide Young Dads with encouragement, support, and guidance.
    • Young Dads weekly group sessions foster social connections among group members.
    • Young Dads participants receive ongoing coaching, personal development, and access to networks of support


LIVE:

  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences:
    • Young Dads report high exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
    • Adult Mentors and Young Dad mentees are trained about the impact and prevalence of ACEs.
    • The Man2Man Project will be featured on ACEs community-of-practice website as a trauma-informed and resiliency building program.
  • Resilient Communities:
    • Young Dads and Mentors participating in the Man2Man Project develop skills that increase their resilience.
    • Man2Man mentors and mentees will plan a community volunteer day.


In the upcoming six months of the Project, we look forward to continuing our work with the mentor/mentee pairs and facilitating opportunities for meaningful and supportive relationships to develop. The mentors and mentees will convene as a group for some activities and will plan a community event for late summer.

If you have any questions about the Project or are interested in volunteering, please contact Brenda Hillhouse at 818/988-4430 or [email protected].