Thanks to the Ontario Mentoring Coalition we have provided some tools to help you are your team to mentot youth. We not only mentor youth we research tools that can help you to better be a role model or mentor. We have focused attention on the most at risk 

What is mentoring?
we know if a young person is a ‘good fit’ for a mentoring program (including based on their level of ‘risk’)?

There are a number of well established standards and best practices for planning and implementing an effective mentoring program. It is important to consult and consider Effective Mentoring Program Components and Implementation. These relate to everything from selecting, screening, and training participants, to successfully closing a match relationship.

How can we make our mentoring program the most effective and safe as possible?

There are a number of well established standards and best practices for planning and implementing an effective mentoring program. It is important to consult and consider Effective Mentoring Program Components and Implementation. These relate to everything from selecting, screening, and training participants, to successfully closing a match relationship.

What do we need to consider when providing mentoring opportunities for youth who face barriers to success?

There are additional considerations when mentoring youth who face barriers to success.

  • Facilitating transformative mentoring relationships

To be effective, the mentoring relationship must go beyond providing assistance with tasks and goals, and must take a more transformative mentoring approach.

  • Recognizing and addressing the dynamics of power and privilege
  • Providing trauma-informed services

Youth facing multiple barriers to success may have experienced considerable trauma. Refer to the Trauma Informed Practice Guide for more information about recognizing and responding to trauma-related issues with youth. The Trauma Informed Care E-Learning Module describes trauma-informed care and the principles that guide this work.

  • Tailoring the program to meet the specific strengths and needs of youth

There are various considerations to keep in mind when mentoring youth with different life experiences. There are best practices for Tailored Mentoring for Youth with Specific Needs. There are also interactive activities that you can facilitate with program staff, mentors and mentees themselves to explore the unique strengths and needs of each youth. One of these activities is called Body Mapping.

Youth facing multiple barriers to success may feel especially disempowered given their past life experiences. Rather than gloss over or ignore issues of power and privilege, it is important for service providers, mentors, and youth themselves to acknowledge the role that power and privilege plays in their lives and relationships.

“Mentoring can be really helpful for youth who don’t have positive or valuable role models in their lives. [Try] your best not to frame it as a “program”,
no one likes being treated like a problem that needs to be “mentored”. Obviously targeting [particular] groups and demographics is necessary, but try
the best to obscure it. Keep it confidential (beyond what the law requires).” (Covenant House Youth Consultation)

Here is a Body Map of racialized youth prepared by participants (service providers) during a training day by the Ontario Mentoring Coalition.

“The point of having a mentor is just to have someone supporting you, to have someone at your back in a time when you’re down. A mentor is someone
who is there to pick you up, to help you. They’re not there to manipulate you to say something that is bad for you. They’re just there pretty much to
support you, help you become a better person, to help you reach that goal you’ve been trying to reach. A mentor for me is just a person who is willing
to help without expecting anything back from you.” (Covenant House Youth Consultation)

What are the best practices in program management and sustainability planning?

Just like there are evidence-informed practices in program implementation, there are also a number of best practices in program management and sustainability planning. These include:

  • ensuring ongoing resource development and diversifying funding
  • building and maintaining effective partnerships
  • ensuring effective leadership and staff development
  • fostering community buy-in and participation
  • maximizing quality and evaluating results
  • prioritizing good communication and visibility
How can we build our capacity for program evaluation?

Service providers are increasingly being required to evaluate their programs. Organizations are increasingly becoming interested in evidence-informed management and services, as a way of maximizing their impact and demonstrating their results. This toolkit provides information on output monitoring, process evaluation, and outcome evaluation. By exploring the section on Program Evaluation, Learning & Improvement, you will learn strategies for developing your own evaluation for mentoring programs for youth facing multiple barriers


Theme Verse:   Properly Training Child, Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”

Other relevant Verses


Kennedy for Kids Mentoring Toolkit


Best practices and resources to build, strengthen, evaluate and sustain effective mentoring programs
for youth considered at high-risk of under education, unemployment, homelessness, criminalization,
and other negative outcomes.


Key Lessons

  • Traditional mentoring models may need to be modified and updated to best support racialized youth. Mentoring programs should ensure youth are learning culturally and racially appropriate coping skills, which can help in developing a positive ethnic and racial identity.1, 4, 5
  • Mentor matching for racialized youth is a contentious issue – some believe that cross-race matching may result in further marginalization, whereas others believe that shared values and interests are more important than shared racial identities. When matching racialized youth, the following factors should be considered:.
  • What preferences does the mentee and mentee’s family have for matching?
  • Does the mentee have same-race role models elsewhere?
  • What is the mentee’s level of cultural mistrust? How can you support them in exploring discrimination and oppression?
  • Does the mentee have a strong ethnic identity?
    What is the cultural competency of the mentor and the organization?
  • Programs should be open to engaging mentors from various backgrounds and experiences, including those who may have been through hard times and are interested in taking a strong leadership role with youth. Additional training may be required for these individuals.

Racialized Youth Body Map

“I would say that my disability is a pretty big barrier. Most mentors are not familiar with the challenges that having a disability could bring, so I find it’s more difficult to find a mentor on that level. A mentor that’s comfortable talking about disability, and constantly being around disability, ‘cause I find a lot of people can be awkward about it almost – they don’t know what to say, or do.” (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Youth In Care Focus Groups)

What do we mean by “youth facing barriers”?

In general terms, we are referring to youth who are living in harms way; youth who, because of their self-identity, life circumstances and/or life experiences, experience vulnerability and marginalization. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) considers youth facing multiple barriers to success as youth who experience obstacles to full participation in their communities and may benefit from targeted support and opportunities. Based on the definition provided by MCYS2, and consultation with the Advisory Committee for this project, the following groups were identified as priorities:

  • Youth with academic challenges
  • Indigenous youthhands with words
  • Racialized youth
  • Newcomer youth
  • Youth with developmental and other disabilities
  • Youth with mental health needs
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, Two Spirit, and asexual youth
  • Youth in or leaving care
  • Homeless youth
  • Youth involved with the criminal justice system
  • Girls

“Some groups of youth have unique circumstances, challenges and needs. These youth may need more targeted supports and opportunities to ensure they are able to succeed” (MCYS, p. 12).2

These are somewhat superficial separations – one youth may identify with more than one of these groups. Nonetheless, they allow us to present the material in an organized way. We invite you to explore the information on mentoring youth that is most applicable to you.



Meet Marcus Umoete, our number one volunteer. Mr. Umoete is 14 years old, going into the 9th grade. He is aspiring to be an airplane pilot when he grows up. He is the one who first helped to build this web site for us.  We all feel he did an excellent job.  We look forward to a long relationship with him and wish him well for all is endeavors.  He is an active member of the Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, Delaware.  

If you would like to visit their site, go to

Below is an update on Marcus Umoete and what he is doing with his life.  He is studying to be an Airline Pilot.
His Brother standing on the left is studding to be a radiologist.

Marcus is a member of the Canaan Baptist Church.

Jesus saw Greatness in Children, Matthew 18: 1-6, Mark 9:42
"At that time the disciples then came to Jesus and asked, 'Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."
"If anyone cause one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea."

Marcus and his Teacher while he studied to become a Pilot
Marcus looking over the Plane
Doing a final Inspection before a test run.

Marcus making a test run


I, Earl W. Woodlen, Jr. presented Marcus Umoete with an Award I called Student of the Decade Award to show his dedication even as a very young man.  He had the opportunity to fly in an helicopter over Manhattan in New York City while in training for his pilots license.  Below is the Award that was presented to him.

Character begins with Childhood, Proverbs 20:11

"Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?"
Discipline Rewarded, Proverbs 29:17
"Discipline your children, and they will give you peace, they will bring you the delights you

Charter School of Wilmington

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

Canaan Baptist Church

Below left is John William Roam when he was three (3) years old. On the right he is twelve (12) years later!  He said, "Mr. Earl, you don't remember me, do you?  You used to give me teddy bears, trucks and other toys when I was younger. Thank you Mr. Earl for all that you did for us kids in the community." All these years later and I still impacted his life!  Now he is about twenty one (21) years old.

Below is part of the Hunt family from 4th Street. Some of the kids I used to take to the store when they were kids.  They found me after they were grown (about 26 years old), now they have kids of their own.Tasha and Stefan Hunt

At four (4) or five (5) 

I used to run a house at 918 Kirkwood Street giving out toys at Christmas. This man below used to come by and get toys from me when he was a young boy.  On one occasion I brought him a very large stuffed dog.  Now he is grown up and waiting for me to get situated in Virginia with a new house so he can come there to get out of the city and start over.  He sees me every day asking "How it is going?"

Now at twenty six (26) or so. 

Kennedy for Kids Mentoring Program is an alternative for kids who have idle time on their hands and do nothing more than hang out on the street.  We offer more constructive alternatives, which are designed to build character, healthy bodies and a sound mind to help better prepare them for the social and business world of today.

This is program designed for all kids between the ages of 8 to 18.  In our mentoring program they will be shown and taught the benefits of how to use computers in their daily lives.

The idea of our program is to reach out the children who have parents incarcerated. They need someone to look up to as positive, responsible role model. These children need the guidance to show them alternatives to crime so that they do not end up like their loved ones. Kids in this program show a sincere interest in becoming productive citizens of society, rather than staking out trouble.

Our program will teach them love and compassion for their fellow man, as well as self respect and confidence!  We do not want them to end up like others in their family who have lost their way and ended up behind bars. That is not a lifestyle worth following! Key word here is life. To live, you have to have freedom and experience all the world has to offer. Once you are confined in those prison walls, it is hard to learn a life without crime.

We also teach etiquette and MANNERS! It seems this generation is lacking a lot of that. Thou shall always respect thy neighbor and elderly as well. Saying "no ma'am", "thank you sir", should be included in your everyday vocabulary. As small and insignificant as this may seem, a simply "thank you" will go a long way to someone else.

One of the requirements is to get other family members involved, especially if they live in the neighborhood. Family values also seem to be a thing of the past. Here, we are trying to bring that back! It is never too late. Family should always come first. Together, we can show these relatives how to step up and be an active, positive person in this child's life, if they aren't already so.

We are going to take these young people and work closely with them.  We will take them into the community to aid senior citizens and others in need. We will go to their homes in and throughout the community at large.  They will be taught not to look at color but to see the good in all kinds of people from various races and cultures. We will be taking these young people to Virginia on field trips and to several churches.  We believe that prayer is a major key to success, which will help these young people to remain crime free in mind and spirit.

When these young people reach the age of 18 years, we have a whole new way of life to show them. We will be waiting for them in the Virginia Tide Water area.

Newport News Shipyard Jobs in Virginia -

Naval Shipyard Jobs --

Tidewater Trade School

5301 Princess Ann Road
Norfolk, Virginia  23502
(757) 853-0400
Tidewater offers classes for Nursing, Welding, Auto Mechanics, Dental Assistant, and a Business Degree.
Centura College
Norfolk Virginia School
97020 N. Military Highway
Norfolk, VA  23518-2121
(757) 853-2121
Hours of Operations:
Mon – Thurs 8am to 10pm (administrative offices close at 7pm)
Fri – 8am to 4:30pm
Sat – 9am to 1pm
Boys and Girls Club of America

National Campaign for Tolerance

In the near future we will be opening a temp service that will provide jobs for anyone in need of one.

If there is a behavior problem, we will help them assess the problem and find the solution!

If they think they can get by just selling drugs, someone will take them through in the Community and show them just what kind of life that is.  We will show them what will happen to them if they follow that wrong way of life.  We will show them just what the drug dealers and addicts go through and how they live on a day-to-day basis.  A drug dealer has money, cars, houses and a bank account.  An addict, when you lock him up, has everything he owns on him.  What they need is Substance Abuse treatment, not prison time.

We will take them into the courthouse and show them tough love. This will allow them to see just what happens when the drug addict or dealer gets caught up in the justice system.

They are going to learn how to live together, work together, and learn to love one another.

When these young people have problems in school or just need help with anything, we will be there to mentor them.  One-on-one or in a group, whichever is best.  We will have group sessions and speakers on occasion to help guide the young people’s path.

Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks dreams were the same and they are a part of this.

President John F. Kennedy said, "I do not see people as a color: I see people as a human being." This is where we got the idea for our Mentoring Program.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One day all nationalities will hold hands and sing together.  One day drug dealers and drug addicts and prostitutes will be free. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said to, President Kennedy, “Do you agree on that?  Let’s shake hands on it”

Helpful Links:

I need a house to make this dream happen in Virginia.  Portsmouth would be the ideal location since I hear that there is a lot of crime and drug use in that area.  I need to be right where the action is to where the people need help the most.

I have tracked down kids that I helped 25 years ago and they still ask me about the house and work in Virginia.  I have guys come up to me all the time reminiscing seeing me in their childhood. "You used to give me and my friends bikes, teddy bears, Tasty Kakes and dollars. We still appreciate you sir."  I work out of my pocket.. if I had money I would be dangerous.


 Growing up I was on the streets and running wild and I fell prey to the evils out there but I was trained right and that is how I was able to turn my life around.  That is also why I started the Harriet Tubman Safe House to be some kind of help to individuals who are leaning toward the evils of the street.
 When I was a child a man named Abraham Gilbert (Abram) every time I saw this man he would give me a dollar and to anyone I was with.  He did this for all the kids in the community.  That is where I got the idea to do the same for what was given to me I do for the children today hand out dollars to all the children I see.  By Mr. Gilbert’s example that is how I should be living my life helping others to help others in turn. 

I remember the first time my Mom made me go to Sunday School.  A Mr. Porter Hill came by and picked us up.  We went to the Church at 3rd and Lombard Streets which was under Reverend Morgan.  We stayed for morning service and when it was over I asked my Mother “are we going to leave now” and my mom said no son we are staying for afternoon service and I dropped my head.  All I could think of was it is 1:30 in the afternoon and my boys were outside playing basketball and I was not.

Not only do I give out dollars I do a lot of other things for members of the community.  For instance I give out Bikes, Ice Cream, Cakes, Cookies, Winter Jackets, Gloves & Scarfs anything that I run across to help the community. 

 Since I grew up in Virginia I have been trying to get a house donated in Norfolk, or Portsmouth, Virginia.  There is work in those cities for anyone who wants it.  The work is there waiting for someone to come along and take advantage of the opportunity.  The Churches are ready to welcome all new members of the community to be new members of their congregation.  The guys need a place to stay to get acclimated until they find a residence of their own and a Safe House there in Virginia is just what they need to help get things off and running.

 Federal Government wants to know where my money goes... well look here... I help people...

I'm Earl Jr. and I run Kennedy For Kids Mentoring.
This site is dedicated to Abram and Booker.
As a kid whenever I saw either of them I knew I would get a dollar. Mr. Word was one of the family who retired from the University of Delaware.

This is Abram (Abraham Gilbert)

This is Booker (Booker Word)

Giving Back in the Community to the Kids
(Dollars make them smile)

When this man was a kid he used to get bikes and teddy bears from me when I was giving out Christmas Gifts.

Today he has two kids and he said to me one day:

"you don't remember me but I used to get toys from you when I was a kid".

I gave both his kids five (5) dollars each that day.

Below are some of the kids in the neighborhood that I give out dollars and other things to.


This was 20 years ago when I was at 5th and Van Buren Street giving away bikes to the children in the neighborhood.

(Bikes give the Kids something to enjoy)

Some of the pictures below are of guys who came to me when they were kids.  They searched for me and finally found Earl.

Below are a few of our Brothers who have a challenge in life but persevere.

(Wheelchairs give them mobility and a feeling of independence)

Man doing jury duty ... the disabled have power too.

Wilmington Court House

Jackson Grinees 

left)  is a very Special Individual.

 Grinees is a Stock Broker, Classically trained Actor and a Political Activist.  He played Pontius Pilate on the way to the Cross in a play.  He also played Hitler on an Episode of Star Trek.  He is a veteran of 7 wars and the civil war in Panama City.  He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp.  

We have some very intellectual individuals on board with us and looking to assist us whenever they can.  This man is an exceptional person with all the skills and talent he processes still has no problem working with us to help others that are down and out.