As the certifying body for 70 high quality local youth mentoring programs across the state of Iowa , the Iowa Mentoring Partnership focuses on the following priorities: Advance the quality of the local mentoring field by building relationships with new and existing mentoring programs and provide capacity building trainings and technical assistance grounded in evidence-based approaches. Engage a wide variety of public and private stakeholders to increase both the number of volunteer mentors as well as resources for the local mentoring field. Collect data on a regular basis to describe the impact of mentoring in the broader community and identify gaps in the range of services needed. Expand public and private support and investment in mentoring through public awareness and advocacy efforts that foster communities that prioritize quality youth mentoring.
The Iowa Mentoring Partnership AmeriCorps VISTA will guide programs through the online National Quality Mentoring System, provide feedback on strengths and a plan for continual improvement. The member will strengthen the IMP marketing plan and provide outreach to new and developing programs. Common metrics for data collection will be agreed upon with programs and the member will develop a fundraising strategy and sustainability plan for a data management system.
Community Need Addressed
The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service is a state agency devoted to promoting service and volunteerism. Our work is directed by a group of commissioners who represent different agencies and organizations that have an interest in service. Our office administers AmeriCorps State programming in Iowa, but we also oversee our own AmeriCorps VISTA project. We use VISTAs both directly in our office and in placements with partners statewide. With the support of the Governor's office and the Department of Education, we run an AmeriCorps VISTA initiative that supports state government and private sector efforts to ensure that all students are reading proficiently by 3rd grade and all students graduate from high school. Our VISTA project will help us grow the capacity of existing volunteer programs serving students, helping them to become self-sustaining, and create new community and/or national service volunteer programs in this field.
The AmeriCorps VISTA member placed with the Iowa Mentoring partnership will engage in activities specifically designed to improve the quality and expand the reach of mentoring services in Iowa by supporting over 70 local mentoring programs serving over 9000 Iowa youth, many disadvantaged. The VISTA will implement an annual marketing plan, develop a quality assessment system and coordinate data collection for improved measures of impact.
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Student loan forbearance, Training
Choice of Education Award or end of service stipend.
Skills you will gain
Time management, history of their host organization, history of Volunteer Iowa, history of VISTA, and specific skills as determined by their host organization in order to complete their assigned duties, designing positions for volunteers, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, interviewing volunteers, volunteer motivation, supervising volunteers, and orienting and training volunteers. The VISTA member will attain the following skills directly through their service: conflict resolution, project management, public speaking, and networking.
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment