Nonprofit Spotlight | Seedling Foundation
Last month I was invited to attend the Seedling Foundation Mentor Appreciation Luncheon. Seedling Foundation’s mission is to support children challenged by parental incarceration with innovative, research-driven, school-based mentoring in Austin and selected sites in the Central Texas area. It’s Promise Mentor Program, launched in February 2006, provides the caring, consistent presence of an adult friend that works to build resilience among at-risk youth, youth affected by the incarceration of one or both parents.
Mentors and mentees in designated schools are matched through a multi-step process that includes a Mentor Profile, criminal background check, and reference checks. Mentors complete a 2.5-hour orientation which provides solid practical information about the mentoring process and the importance of their role prior to their introduction to a child. Throughout the mentor-mentee relationship Seedling Foundation offers continued education for mentors, providing support based on research findings and best practices.
Recently I participated in a professional training on the acculturation, identity and family of Chinanxs with Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa. Although Dr. Zamarripa’s trainings are from the mental health perspective the material presented and the experiences shared are relevant and useful to any who have an interest in cultural awareness, those that want to learn about multiculturalism and diversity, and simply, those that just “don’t get” why others “have to go there?!?”
Two of three points discussed in Chicanx Psychology: Acculturation, Identity and Family were of main interest to me and the work I do to bridge and foster cultural communication and community engagement with the Latinx and Hispanic communities. They are, recognizing the influence of historical, social and cultural factors, and recognizing that ethnicity influences human behavior. Having an awareness of the immigrant and native frameworks is important and supports informed and respectful communication. Culturally informed communication (trauma-informed, in some cases) then leads to a successful engagement, fostering positive relationships.
On the Dulce Shelf
Summer reading is here! I’ve been receiving reading lists for the past two weeks in anticipation of the yearly summer reading custom, from school required reading to beach books. Here’s a recent list provided by Austin360’s Cultura en Austin blog, the 14 Latino books for your summer reading list .
As for Sententia Vera’s Dulce Shelf, I have a summer author pick to recommend. Take a look at any of Luis Alberto Urrea’s literary gifts. You won’t be disappointed.
Another interesting title that came across my desk is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.