EnCompass is a mentoring program for moms living at Amethyst Place. Mentor pairs, two women who are already friends, are an essential modeling tool, showing how friendships based on mutual respect can grow, change and be sustained over time. Currently it is a group of 50 moms and their 100 mentors.
We say “Arms Around You”–a simple phrase that means so much. We want our moms to feel safe, loved, and protected, “encompassed” all in one. But encompass also has at its root the word “compass”, a search for direction—an openness to embrace dreams and goals, and our hope that she is ready to find a new path, arm and arm with her mentors.
Meetings take place twice a month where moms and mentors share a meal and each mom is honored and cared for unconditionally by her mentors. Meetings include an activity or a speaker, with a focus on solving personal and family issues to help build long-term economic self-sufficiency.
Simple human connections capture the spirit of EnCompass. Tina, an Amethyst Place mom, shared at a recent meeting that she called one of her mentors during a particularly hard day at work: “I was having a really bad day at work and wanted to quit. I was thinking of all the people I could call: My friend would just tell me to quit. My sponsor would tell me to work the steps. My case manager would tell me to go back to school. So I decided to call my mentor, because she always answers her phone and lets me vent.”
Afterward a mentor sent this email:
Julie, Tina’s impromptu story was the best advertisement for EnCompass one could wish for. In a way which was so authentic and heartfelt she expressed what mentors are, by listing off what we are not. We don’t come with an agenda (twelve steps); we don’t come with any expectations (you will do this); we don’t have a pre-specified role. So there is much freedom. Through simple presence, listening and offering empathy–relationships are born and nurtured. This is precious and so powerful, even if we don’t think so. Her ‘testimonial’ helped me see more clearly what it means to be a mentor in this setting. I loved it. Wish I had videoed it. What a great recruitment tool it would be. Thank you for making it happen, Denise
For more information contact Julie Carmichael at firstname.lastname@example.org