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MPOWRD provides teens the vehicle to navigate from hopelessness to hopefulness. – Rick Miller, President of Kids at Hope
In order to ensure MPOWRD success, administrators must choose certified staff with the following skill-sets:
- Trained MPOWRD facilitators must represent professionals who are outstanding leaders in their field. They must be respected by staff, teens and the community of parents and school supporters.
- Trained MPOWRD facilitators must show evidence of those professional values that will be inherent in this mentorship. Teens within MPOWRD need trustworthy, passionate and committed individuals who understand this generation and maintain appropriate boundaries.
- Trained MPOWRD facilitators need to be committed to ensuring that this program is accessible to as many teens as possible. They need to be willing to create the outreach and expansion needed to make MPOWRD part of the school culture.
MPOWRD leadership meetings must be facilitated by certified staff trained through the MPOWRD training program preferably those with a background in counseling, social work, health, or psychology. It is recommended that site locations have at least two adults trained as facilitators. No other adults are invited to meetings unless specific permission is granted and teens agree to the visitation. Fidelity checks may be requested to validate that the appropriate procedures are in place for MPOWRD‘s success.
Once staff is trained, it is imperative to be consistent about following through with the weekly meetings. Participants become very loyal to the program and need the assurance that there will always be a meeting in place waiting for them.
Our kids are not expendible… MPOWRD can help them cope, deal with their daily struggles and provide accountability, in a way that “adult driven” or “adult lead” groups just can’t.
– Kim Obert, Parent of Kent Edwards (4/4/85 – 9/22/03)
School meetings will be most effective if they are run during the school day. Trying to get teens to attend before or after school, during lunchtime or in the evenings can be challenging. If necessary, you may switch periods each week so that no one class is affected by multiple absences. This process takes organization and constant reminders to teens.
MPOWRD meetings will give facilitators a chance to note any teen who may be in a crisis mode, so that they can follow-up with a teen if necessary. It is also a time to teach “boundaries,” so that teens will learn how to disclose “safe and appropriate” information that they will not regret at a later time. Although teens need to be able to be open about their life experiences, they also need skills to protect them from any disclosure that they might regret or could cause them personal harm.
MPOWRD is positively impacting youth engaging in high risk behaviors.
– Charles Flanagan, Director of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections
Groups should be limited to 8-10 teens. Teens may only attend on the basis of privilege and not “be assigned or required” to attend. If a teen is not ready for the responsibilities of this group, he/she may be asked to talk to the facilitator. MPOWRD is the ultimate experience for SEL (Social, Emotional Learning) and should be available for any interested teen.
It can also be offered as a diversion program as a means to count as hours/time toward fulfilling a required activity for supporting positive decision making. It is an excellent resource for Restorative and Trauma Informed Practices.
Teens will eventually run the entire meeting with trained facilitators being present both as mentors and to ensure that the guidelines and format are being followed.
I have never seen anything as powerful as the MPOWRD approach to assisting youth to make better choices for their lives in such a short time.
– Debi Neat, Safe and Drug Free School Trainer, Phoenix Union High School District
The training program offers a comprehensive approach for individuals planning to offer MPOWRD meetings within their facilities. Redefining personal empowerment, developing unconditional support, creating new strategies in teen empowerment, defining confidentiality factors, working through trust issues, and ultimately teaching teens to be “present” for each other, are several of the key components which will be emphasized during the breakout sessions.
CURRICULUM – Level Two
Facilitators working with schools, health provider communities and state supported juvenile corrections agencies may also choose to utilize a curriculum program that supports the meeting content, through the series: STEPS, CHALLENGES, and M-Squared, supplementary journal booklets available to schools.