The Success of The Children’s Village Mentoring Programs

January is Mentoring Month, and at The Children’s Village, we know that having a mentor can be life-changing for the young people we work with.

That’s why we offer a myriad of mentorship programs that focus on providing young people with credible messengers who have relatable lived experiences and a commitment to supporting those they work with.

THANK YOU to our mentors for making this incredibly impactful work possible. 

Below are some highlights of the partnerships between our mentors and the young adults we serve:


Meet Joel and Ms. Gaby

“In almost a year in ARCHES, I’ve seen myself become a better person. I got off the street and have been on the road to success and transformation with the help of my mentors, specifically Ms. Gaby. She has pushed me to strive to be better and believe in myself” – Joel Franklin, member of the Children’s Village Arches program.

The ARCHES program uses interactive group work and one-to-one interactive journaling to help young men and women involved with the probation system to transition away from the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors that led to their entanglement with the justice system. The goal is to help them identify the labels and internalized stigmas associated with being on probation.

Meet Brenneis Nesbitt

Brenneis Nesbitt has been a Mentor for the ARCHES program since June 2018. He started out as an intern, became a volunteer, and has now been a permanent staff member since September 2020. He does this work because he loves assisting our city’s youth with making positive lifestyle changes and uses his lived experience to inspire and motivate. As a mentor, Brenneis facilitates workshops, connects participants to employment and community resources, and assists them with learning how to become self-advocates. He also uses restorative justice circles to address group conflict.

Meet Hassan ElGendi

“I’m a firm believer in the mantra ‘Healed People, Heal People,’ which I discovered during my credible messenger training at the Institute for Transformative Mentoring (ITM). I also wholeheartedly believe in leading by example. How can we encourage our youth to grow past their trauma and turn their pain into purpose if we aren’t actively doing the same?”

– Hassan ElGendi, teaching artist and youth activist/education, Children’s Village Credible Messenger in the Transformative Mentoring Division, Program Coordinator for ECHOES and Be Ready.


Hassan feels that the most important part of the work he does is establishing a program culture and work environment for both youth and staff. This is why he also assists with the ITM division’s Healing & Development Initiative, helping to design and co-facilitate original workshops that provide Children’s Village mentors with opportunities for professional development and encourage best practices within a restorative justice framework.


Learn more about Children’s Village Transformative Mentorship Programs here.









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