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Event: Let's Reconnect! - 12.2

Grade 12 - Building Relationships and Finishing My College List

As the first event of the year, the main purpose of this event is to reconnect pairs, strengthen the mentoring community, and begin the goal setting process for 12th grade.

Event Overview

Objectives:

Pairs will:

  • Reconnect and update each other on what's been happening since they last met
  • Build the mentor and mentee community
  • Confirm college lists are final
  • Plan and prepare for the college process and finishing high school

Guiding Questions:

  • What has my mentee/mentor been up to since we last met?
  • Is my college list final? If not, then what else do I need to do?
  • What do we want to accomplish this year?
  • How do we intend to accomplish them?

Lesson Resources:

Logistics: 
  • Welcome posters and signage visible as mentors and mentees approach the door of the event space.
  • Ensure all technology is functioning properly before participants arrive (if applicable). 
  • Setup clear way for pairs to find each other during (i.e. assigned seating, numbers, name cards, etc.).
  • Have DISH conversation card decks ready on tables.
  • Have upbeat, professionally-appropriate music playing.
  • Greet each person as they enter the event space. Welcome them as they arrive and address them by name.
  • Have fun!

Entry Point

Welcome and Opening (15 minutes)

Chunk One: Welcome

  • Staff formally welcomes all participants. 
  • Staff thanks everyone for showing up on time (it'll be important to emphasize punctuality as part of event success).
  • Present opportunity for school staff, principal, etc., to welcome participants.

Chunk Two: I'm Feeling Abstract - Table Conversation

  • Staff will show participants images (via slideshow or handout)
  • Staff will instruct participants to look through the provided images and do the following:
    • select 1 image that best represents the time between the last event and this one
    • select 1 image that best represents how they feel about this year
  • After each selection, staff will instruct participants to share their image and why they selected that image

DISH: Connecting Over Dinner (30 minutes)

Chunk One: Food Ritual

  • Staff will instruct pairs on how they will get food and return to their seats
  • It is important that staff set strong rituals for how participants get food to maximize efficiency

Chunk Two: Conversation Starter Deck

  • Pairs should use DISH to catch up.
  • Staff ensures DISH conversation starter card decks are on the tables. When pairs return to their tables with food, they draw cards and discuss the content on the cards. The cards are intended to be used if pairs do not already have a conversation to engage in.
  • For full list of conversation starters, check out this article on Conversation Starters.

Chunk Three: Seconds and Clean Up

  • Staff will signal that seconds are available (if applicable)
  • Staff will give pairs 5 minute warning to clean up and throw away trash

Community Keystone (20 minutes)

Purpose:

In this activity, pairs will work together to discuss the best advice they've ever received about college and careers. They will also use this time to review college lists.

Steps:

Chunk One: The Best Advice I've Ever Received

  • Before providing instructions for first activity, staff should introduce any event norms or behaviors that they intend on using during the year.
  • Staff will direct pairs to think about and share the best advice they've ever received about a list of topics:
    • Working hard
    • Eating right
    • Healthy relationships
    • Pursuing a career
    • Going to college
  • Pairs will reflect on each item and share the following with others at their table:
    • what the advice was
    • who gave them the advice
    • why it was the best
  • Staff will ask for volunteers to share their advice with the whole group

Chunk Two: Advice I'd Give Myself

  • Staff will instruct participants to think about what advice they'd give themselves for their senior year in high school.
    • what will they need to remember when things get challenging?
    • how can they stay motivated?
  • Participants will share this advice and why they selected it to others at the table 

Pair Keystone (30 minutes)

Purpose:

In this activity, pairs will review and discuss how each of them can work together to accomplish the milestones they just discussed in groups.

Steps:

Chunk One: Understanding and Using the PPPAIR Framework

  • Staff will instruct pairs to review the PPPAIR framework document.
  • Pairs should discuss the following:
    • PRODUCT - PROCESS - PROGRESS 
      • What are the main products that they'd like to focus on this year (i.e. increasing GPA, high test score, etc.)?
      • What is the best process for the pair to accomplish those goals and to reach out to each other when they need support?
      • How can they best share progress in real-time?
    • ACCEPT Feedback
      • How do they best receive and accept feedback?
      • Share examples of when they received feedback well and not so well.
    • INTERACT Frequently
      • Discuss different ways to interact, i.e. via canvas lessons, OOP meetings, events, etc.
      • How they can keep each other accountable when they aren't interacting frequently enough?
    • Maintain RELIABILITY
      • Discuss ways they can keep each other accountable.

Chunk Two: Finishing My College List (for mentees who have not finalized their list)

  • Pairs will work together to review the mentee's college list
  • Pairs will:
    • confirm that all colleges on the list belong 
    • no colleges are being left off
    • resolve any lingering questions regarding the list

Chunk Three: Our First Semester Goals (mentees who have already completed their college list can skip ahead to this)

  • Pairs will select two goals they'd like to accomplish together before their next event.
  • Using their PPPAIR discussion as a guide, pairs will make 2-3 commitments to each other toward the completion of those goals.

Chunk Four: Making it Official

  • Pairs will create a handshake that they'll use when they see each other in person at events and meetings.
  • Once all commitments have been made, pairs will do the handshake to seal the deal.

Exit Ramp (10 minutes)

Community Debrief and Mentee Exit

  • Staff will direct pairs to share their commitments to other pairs at their table.
  • Staff will ask for volunteers to share their commitments and handshake to the whole group.
  • Staff will ask individuals to share:
    • something they learned today
    • something they are excited about for the future
  • Exit ritual for mentees

Mentor Huddle (15 minutes)

Announcements

  • Staff will thank mentors for participating in the event.
  • Staff will make any relevant announcements and preview any upcoming milestones and curriculum topics.
    • Special attention should be paid to any specific college process milestones happening in the near future
    • Staff can address any lingering questions about new platform (if applicable)

Community Dialogue

  • Spectrum Activity
    • Staff will identify two areas of the room that represent "strongly agree" and "strongly disagree"
    • Staff will ask read statements and ask mentors to go the place that best represents how they feel
    • Mentors will form groups of 4-5 and share how they feel
  • Statements can include:‚Äč
    • I believe today went really well
    • My mentee has a good idea of where they want to go to college and/or plans after high school
    • I feel confident going into this year
  • Staff will ask 2-3 mentors to share out to rest of group

Closing Ritual

  • Staff should facilitate a closing ritual for mentors to build community and to leave on a high note.