The Missouri Mentoring Partnership Program (MMP) began in the State of Missouri as collaboration between the Missouri Department of Social Services and Family Resource center in St. Louis. Missouri Mentoring Partnership is currently a state funded initiative through the Department of Social Services with 9 MMP sites across the state, each working under the basic premises of two components: Worksite Mentoring and Young Parent Mentoring. Missouri Mentoring Partnership in Cape Girardeau began with the Worksite Mentoring program then added the Young Parent Program in 1999. The Workforce Investment Board was the financial administrator for Missouri Mentoring Partnership until MMP moved under the Community Caring Council in 2002. Community Caring Council continues to be the financial administrator for MMP.
The Young Parent program was for pregnant or teen mothers with a baby under a year old that was matched with volunteer mentors. Dads were welcome to participate and eventually were incorporated into the program with a Dad’s program. Then the Young parent program was extended to include the parents of toddlers under the age of 3.
After years of working in multiple counties, Missouri Mentoring Partnership in Cape Girardeau lost part of its funding which resulted in the Worksite Mentoring Program being eliminated. This left only the MMP Young Parent Program to continue. As the work with the expectant parents and parents with children continued, the need for some general life and social skills was observed among the many youth participating in the program. As a result of this observation, in spring 2014, Missouri Mentoring Partnership proposed changing the Young Parent Program to a Youth Program. In July 2014, the new program was approved. This new/current Youth Program is for youth ages 12-25 who want to work on developing their life and social skills. These life and social skills activities and lessons also incorporate the 40 Developmental Assets. Missouri Mentoring Partnership works with community organizations to offer series of life and social skills to the youth they work with. Typically the series include 16 lessons/activities. The schedule is flexible to meet the needs of the partnering organization. Missouri Mentoring Partnership works with several community organizations but is always looking for additional schools and organizations to work with. For more information, please contact Nikki Wolfe at 573-332-0066 ext. 115.
-Nikki Wolfe, Youth Specialist