About Our Program
Frequently Asked Questions-Answered!
My Next Big Adventure (MNBA) is a free peer to peer youth mentoring program established to engage, educate, encourage and empower at risk youth in grades 4-8 from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The program engenders a nonjudgmental, welcoming and respectful environment where participating youth meet monthly to gain practical life skills, individual support and an opportunity to connect with community leaders around topics based on our Four Pillars of Success (education, nutrition & health, economy, and cultural awareness). The program encourages enrolled youth to freely express themselves – sharing their fears, uncertainties, and challenges with matched-peers that have had similar experiences and overcome them. With the guided support of trained professionals and direct interaction with matched-peers – the everyday challenges of life are discussed, validated, and then normalized for new participants as they journey through the process of building resilience, confidence, a sense of belonging, purpose, and higher self-esteem. The program operates 9 months out of the year - in alignment with the Marietta City school year. Select youth are invited to join the program in the 4th grade and may continue in the program through 8th grade.
MNBA is unique in that it is the only program of its kind in the City of Marietta and it carefully pairs students together that are three grade levels apart. These peer match-ups are structured for 8th graders to mentor 5th graders, 7th graders to 4th graders, and in 6th grade we teach them how to be a mentor.
- To make meaningful connections with youth that are most in need of positive intervention, interactions, and support; and, to use these connections to redirect and fortify those at risk for school failure with a sense of self-worth and a positive future outlook.
- To use peer to peer mentoring and community role models, (i.e. individuals of high impact), to connect with new and existing participants -- sharing their personal journey and to offer hope where there often is none.
- To expose these youth to our four pillars to long-term stability & success by way of community guest speakers and hands on age appropriate activities designed to engage participants in new ideologies and transformational thinking.
- To foster an enriched atmosphere that encourages academic and personal achievement, as well as community responsibility (citizenship).
What is My Next Big Adventure and why was this mentoring program established?
- My Next Big Adventure (MNBA) is a one on one youth mentoring program established to provide our youth with education, encouragement, and empowerment to reach their highest potential.
- MNBA was established to provide students a mentoring program starting at the elementary level.
- To educate, encourage, and empower youth to reach their full potential.
- To create an environment where youth can have a sense of belonging, purpose, higher self-esteem, and confidence with their peers from 5th grade through high school.
What type of youth does this program serve?
- Our program is unique as our one to one ratio are students three grade levels apart. Youth beginning in the 5th grade through high school. Our peer to peer match-up is 5th/8th, 4th/7th and 6th as a group
- MNBA is free for the students to participate in and we provide transportation to and from our meetings for those students with the need for that service.
- Youth from a wide range of ethnic diversity and socio-economic backgrounds.
- Youth that have strong potential to be leaders and those that need encouragement to get on the right track.
How are youth recommended to the program?
- Nominations are sent in by the previous grade level teachers based on criteria provided by MNBA. Then a nomination committee selects the students to participate and sends information to the parent/guardians of the student with the expectations for the student in the program.
- We begin the program at the beginning of each school year. The mentors and mentees are matched up based on their feedback during the first meeting. They will be partners the duration of the school year and the program.
- To remain in the program the students must adhere to the requirements explained in the expectation letter sent to them and their parent/guardians.
How are mentors and mentees matched?
- Once the mentors and mentees have been selected through a nomination process, the students are matched up based on their feedback. We play a matching game where each mentor and mentee have the opportunity to talk, ask questions, and determine if there is a connection for each of them to be partnered up for the duration of the program.
- The mentors receive training on the responsibilities of becoming a mentor prior to our meetings with the mentees.
What is expected of the mentors?
- Mentors will go through an initial training to prepare them to be leaders and role models. In addition, before each meeting the mentors will then review the lesson plans before meeting with their assigned mentee.
- The mentors are required to attend each meeting which is held after school once a month. Transportation will be provided.
- Mentors will encourage their mentee to participate during the lessons and activities.
What does the meeting structure look like?
- The mentors are bussed to the elementary school once a month after school. Our meetings take place at the school under adult supervision.
- We begin each meeting with a healthy snack.
- An ice breaker activity begins our topic of the month, followed by a guest speaker to further discuss the message. We wrap up our meeting with one on one reflections and share what we learned with the group. Some months the students will have “homework” to practice the lesson they learned.
- Once the meeting is complete we provide transportation to those students who need it home.
How can you help?
- Marietta City School System has embraced this program. We are off to a running start and looking for community support. I would be honored if you would consider us for your charitable giving.
- My Next Big Adventure, Inc. can only achieve our vision with the support from members of our community like you. Without your support, serving the students of Marietta City Schools would not be possible. We write to ask you to consider helping us build our programs to serve the students in our community. A donor envelope is enclosed for your convenience. We hope that you will help support our vision.
- We are excited to begin making an impact and it starts with you. We will be sure to keep you updated on our progress with the students, our events, and our community impact.
We are accepting donations at PO Box 4722, Marietta, Georgia 30061 & Online under the Donate Tab