February 21, 2020
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Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation funds Trekkers Training Institute’s free Youth Development Training Series

Community Author: Shari Closter
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PORTLAND — The Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation is funding the second year of the Trekkers Training Institute for Youth Development, through a grant of $105,950, to expand access to its highly effective, relationship-based mentoring model for older adolescents. Trekkers recently announced a series of free workshops for community mentors and youth development practitioners that will launch in July.

Trekkers’ approach to youth development is based on a six-year mentoring model that improves outcomes for young people by providing mentoring, community engagement, and opportunities that develop and support aspirations. It is driven by the idea that relationships are critical in keeping youth on an aspirational trajectory, and empowering young people with a sense of purpose and possibility is vital to the future of thriving communities.

The Lerner Foundation funded the start-up phase of the Trekkers Training Institute in 2017, which initially trained youth development staff from the Lerner Foundation’s eight Aspirations Incubator Program partner organizations. AIP is a six-year, multi-million mentoring-based pilot project funded by the Lerner Foundation and aimed at raising and sustaining the aspirations of students in rural Maine communities.

Each of the eight AIP partner organizations is now implementing a six-year program model based on Trekkers’ Youth Programming Principles, with the goal of bringing Trekkers’ successful student outcomes to other rural communities across the state. Over the past year, TTI has refined its training curriculum to meet the professional development needs of a wide array of people who work closely with older adolescents, and TTI training opportunities are now open to other practitioners in the fields of youth development, mentoring, and education.

“Trekkers Training Institute’s professional development training and support are the backbone of our Aspirations Incubator Program,” says Erin Cinelli, executive director at the Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation. “AIP empowers local leaders and other youth advocates to play a vital role in nurturing the aspirations of young people in our partner communities. The Trekkers Training Institute gives mentors and other adults working in youth development the tools they need to build strong relationships and empower students to envision a clear and successful pathway to opportunities beyond high school.”

As an introduction to Trekkers, its Youth Programming Principles, and the Trekkers Training Institute’s pedagogy and curriculum, TTI is offering a series of free workshops focused on the key elements underpinning Trekkers philosophy and practice of how to work effectively with youth between the ages of 13 to 18 years old. The free training series will take place at the Steel House South building in Rockland, located at 639 Main Street. Interested participants can register for one or all of the trainings at trekkersinstitute.org. The schedule is as follows:

Mentor Series
• Why Relationships Matter, Tuesday, July 17, 1-4pm
• Earning the Right to Be Heard with Teens, Tuesday, August 21, 1-4pm
• Embracing a Strengths-Based Approach, Tuesday, September 25
Practitioner Series
• Going Beyond One and Done Programming, Thursday, July 26, 1-4pm
• Engaging Youth Through the Middle School to High School Transition, Thursday, August 23, 1-4pm
• Not Going It Alone: Mapping Community Resources, Thursday, September 27, 1-4pm
Currently in Development for Fall 2018
• Behavior Management & Boundary Setting
• Vulnerability & Shared Experiences
• Taking Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Others
• Modeling Self-Awareness and Self-Care for Youth
For more information about the Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation, the Aspirations Incubator Program, and its partner organizations, please visit lernerfoundation.com or contact Erin Cinelli at erin@lernerfoundation.com. For more information about the Trekkers Training Institute, please visit trekkersinstitute.com or contact Meredith Lynt at meredith@trekkers.org.