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This program treats membership like a true partnership. Source: stockimages via Freedigitalphotos.net

If you are looking to become more involved in your community, one of the best ways to do so is to sign up to be a mentor. This is especially true for those involved in the creative design field. Young people interested in pursuing a career in this area often receive limited direction from teachers and guidance counselors as they are often not as familiar with opportunities in this industry and/or art and design mentoring programs available.

For those living in the New York area, the AIGA/NY Mentoring Program helps to pair passionate high school students attending the New York City High School of Art and Design with mentors that are already creative professionals with blossoming careers.

What makes this program unique from other art and design mentoring programs is that mentors are required to make a 3 year commitment to the program as the relationship begins during the student’s sophomore year and runs through graduation. Each pair will spend a minimum of four hours together each month. Because of the accountability that the mentor and mentee have to each other with this program, many of the students go on to graduate high school and receive a higher degree in a creative design field.

If this article has inspired to you learn more about our Designing the Next Generation mission at the Over My Shoulder Foundation, I invite you to contact me, Dawn Carroll, for more information. Also, please be sure to check out our blog for more inspirational mentoring stories and feel free to share your own with us!

 

We’ve used our Over My Shoulder Foundation blog to make you aware of several music mentoring programs, and most of these programs are focused on adults mentoring youth. Peer-to-peer counseling can prove to be just as valuable, which is why we wanted to mention the Music Buddies Mentoring Program through the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (AYPO).

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Source: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee via SXC.hu

One goal of the Music Buddies Mentoring Program is to provide private music instruction to students that may not have the financial means to receive such training otherwise. All of the mentors in this program are currently youth musicians (8th grade and older) from the American Youth Concert Orchestra (AYCO), American Youth Symphonic Orchestra (AYSO), or the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (AYPO).

When pairing program participants with mentors, the Music Buddies Mentoring Program takes into account both the age of the participant and the instrument that the participant plays to make the best match. Students will meet with their mentors on a weekly basis at T.C. Williams High School for basic instruction, exercises, and practice of school orchestra/band music. The youth mentors then meet with program director Laura Cahn after practice to discuss important learning skills to help enhance their roles as music mentors and teachers.

A second goal of this unique music mentoring program is to not only increase the interest of music in our youths’ lives, but to help keep them active and engaged in their schools’ music programs. All of the youth participants in the Music Buddies Mentoring Program, whether mentors or mentees, are sure to learn valuable lessons and skills from each other.

To learn more about music mentoring programs in your area or how you can become a mentor through music, please contact me, Dawn Carroll, at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

 

berklee-city-music

Source: keb via SXC.hu

We recently talked about an opportunity to become a music mentor to nurture a youth’s talent. There is no question that music mentoring programs can play an important role in providing a continued learning experience that help keep our youth engaged in school and out of trouble. This is why we wanted to highlight another program that is available to youth in Greater Boston.

As a Berklee alumna, I wanted to share that Berklee City Music offers a series of age and skill-level appropriate music mentoring programs for middle school students and rising high school seniors living in Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lynn, and Somerville.

The goal of the program is to make a positive impact in the students’ lives while providing them with skills and lessons that they can utilize throughout their lifetime. Not only do program participants have access to year-round instruction from talented faculty members and one-on-one mentoring, but they also have the ability to use the Berklee media center, library, and participate in a variety of music classes and workshops.

To be eligible for this music mentoring program, participants must express a deep interest in learning about music as well as have access to their own instruments. To learn more about how you can apply to this outstanding mentoring program, please contact City Music Boston at 617-747-2447 or visit the organization’s website.

In an effort to raise the awareness of Mentorology and the positive impact that a strong mentor can have on a youth’s life, we often use our Over My Shoulder Foundation blog to share mentoring success stories. Whether you have a question about mentoring or a success story, we want to hear from you! Please contact us to continue this conversation.

 

fashion-apprentice

Source: Julie Heu via Pinterest

If your lifelong dream is to become a fashion designer, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to get started. All too often, our youth that aspire to “make it” in the fashion industry end up settling for jobs in retail and merchandising instead of working towards a higher level career. However, individuals that enter into a mentoring relationship with someone that has already gone through the challenges that are presented early on in the fashion industry are more likely to have successful careers in this field.

Since we are passionate about Designing the Next Generation and the concept of Mentorology at the Over My Shoulder Foundation, we like to use our blog to share fashion and design opportunities with those that have a deep interest in pursuing a career in this area.

Any young women (of at least 18 years of age) that are interested in modeling, fashion design, fashion buying, graphic design, and fashion photography need to know about the Fashion Apprentice Program offered by the Pretty Academy Ambassador Mentorship Program in Atlanta. This newly launched program will provide 20 women that fit this criteria with hands-on experience in their field of interest.

The goal of this program is not only to provide a first-hand account of how the fashion industry works, but to also instill the confidence and courage that the participants will need to be successful in the fashion industry. By taking part in this unique program, the participants will be able to make valuable connections and learn about available fashion and design opportunities.

To learn more about how you can get involved in our Designing the Next Generation initiative, please contact us at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

 

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L’Wren Scott will speak at the event. Source: POPSUGAR Fashion via Pinterest

We’ve talked about some of the common obstacles that those in the fashion industry are faced with, and these challenges can be difficult to overcome without the advice, encouragement, and expertise from a mentor.

Unfortunately, many of our youth entering the fashion industry are not sure where to start when it comes to finding a mentor. Attending a fashion conference does not only provide you with a great opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, but also can aid in making valuable introductions to key people in your field. These industry leaders and centers of influence that you meet could be ideal candidates for your mentor, and attending a conference can allow for these relationships to blossom.

If you are interested in attending a fashion conference, be sure to mark you calendar for the upcoming Fashionista Conference in LA on November 8 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and hear from some of the industry’s top designers, bloggers, editors, and stylists including L’Wren Scott, Erica Domesek, and Lyn Paolo.

The overall theme of the conference is “how to make it in the fashion industry,” which is a burning question on the minds of many. While there are no guaranteed slots for fashion mentoring at the conference, over half of the attendees at the recent New York conference received a one-on-one mentoring session with leading industry professionals. If fashion mentoring is a priority for you, please be sure to register for this conference as soon as possible.

Designing the Next Generation is our passion at the Over My Shoulder Foundation. If you want to stay in the loop with available fashion mentoring programs throughout the country, please contact us or subscribe to our blog.

 

Youth that are involved in an extracurricular activity such as sports, art or music are more likely to stay in school and develop a positive self-image. The Charity Music Mentoring Program was founded with the understanding that all youth have the potential to succeed in life if they have access to a solid role model that offers support and encouragement along the way. This program is aimed at serving disadvantaged youth in Michigan that are currently enrolled in the Macomb Intermediate School District and have an interest in music.

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Source: worradmu via Freedigitalphotos.net

This unique youth mentoring program utilizes music to inspire their students to explore their creative sides, often helping youth to uncover hidden musical talents. In addition to providing free music education to program participants, the students also have the ability to borrow a variety of instruments to determine which one best suits them.

If you have ever expressed an interest in becoming a music mentor, the Charity Music Mentoring Program is currently searching for mentors to serve as music instructors with expertise in the flute, clarinet, drums, voice, and other instruments. To learn more about how you can make a difference with this wonderful program, please contact Music Mentors of Michigan at 586-808-7445.

We, too, are passionate about Designing the Next Generation at the Over My Shoulder Foundation. We recently shared the inspirational story about how Amy Kurland, founder of the Bluebird Cafe, served as one of the greatest music mentors as her Nashville cafe launched the careers of several singers and songwriters such as Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.

I, Dawn Carroll, have personally benefited from a music mentor in my life, which ultimately inspired me to found the Over My Shoulder Foundation along with Grammy winner Patti Austin. To learn more about our organization and becoming a music mentor, please contact us!

 

Music is capable of many things. Singing and songwriting can provide an outlet for some who otherwise would find it hard to communicate. For others, music is a way to break down barriers and achieve things that they could have only dreamed of. That’s why I believe that mentoring those who have this wonderful ability is so important. The Over My Shoulder Foundation, after all, was started because of a song by the same name that I wrote. This song was performed by legendary Grammy Award Winner Patti Austin and her mentee.

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Amy Kurland’s Bluebird Cafe has sparked many creative careers. Source: Cheapflights via Pinterest

Now, if you’ve ever been to Nashville or watched the hit series on ABC, you know that the Bluebird Cafe is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. This intimate 90-seat venue is the setting where many famous country music artists have been discovered including Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.

In 1982, Amy Kurland opened the Bluebird Cafe, and since then her cafe has helped launched the careers of several aspiring songwriters and singers. By creating an environment where local Nashville artists can test their talent in front of a live audience that is often filled with influential guests in the music community, Kurland has become one of the most regarded mentors in Nashville.

To honor her, Kurland will receive the Frances William Preston Award at the 43rd Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner on October 13th. One recipient of this award is chosen each year, and the intention is to recognize an individual that has helped pave the way for songwriters. Kurland was a natural choice for this award as she has always felt that people are just as interested in the songwriter as the person singing the song, which in many ways is why the Bluebird Cafe has been so successful over the years.

The music mentoring awards event will also honor the year’s best song, songwriter, and the “Top 10 Songs I Wish I Had Written.” To learn more about the upcoming music mentoring awards and attending this event, please call 615-256-3354.

If you don’t live in the Nashville area and would be interested in attending an upcoming mentoring event near you, please contact me at the Over My Shoulder Foundation. I use the blog as an opportunity to make others aware of ways that they can get mentoring help or become a mentor themselves.

 

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We’ll help you get started out on the right foot. Source: AscensionDigital via Freedigitalphotos.net

We unfortunately are still in the midst of a challenging job economy, and for our inexperienced youth that are just coming out of school, there are even more obstacles to overcome. This is particularly true for the fashion industry where fashion and design opportunities are hard to come by, causing many youth to settle for jobs in retail and merchandising versus aspiring to a C-level executive position.

Our mission at the Over My Shoulder Foundation is Designing the Next Generation, which is our international conversation about the power of Mentorology and the powerful impact that it can have on the lives of our rising youth. There is a great need for mentoring programs in the design industry as a mentor can play an instrumental role in helping to guide an aspiring designer to achieve a budding career.

The Fashion Connoisseur is a Collegiate Scholastic Mentoring (CSM) Initiative, and the mentoring program was established with the intent of helping both youth in the fashion industry aspire to become leaders within their organizations and break through the barriers of entry level positions. Participants in the program will not only receive assistance in meeting professional and academic goals, but will receive valuable guidance that will be beneficial as they grow in their careers.

Sometimes all that our youth, searching for fashion and design opportunities, need is a little encouragement, and a mentor can make all of the difference between a mediocre and a self-satisfying career in the fashion industry. Take the example of Denise Hajjar, who credits the support from her family and close friends to being an integral part to her success as a designer today — and she absolutely loves her career!

To learn more about local mentoring programs or how you can serve as a mentor, please contact me at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.