“Mizizi Maji” stands for “roots of water” in the Swahili language.
Baxter’s Mizizi Maji Mentoring Program provides young people ages 8-18 with individualized mentoring that includes; group and one to one mentoring. Students who are part of the program add a network of support to what already exists within each family. At Baxter we believe that a strong foundation makes all the difference!
This “It Takes a Village” philosophy is incorporated into weekly gatherings that create opportunities for teamwork, volunteerism, social, cultural and historical competency building, encourage academic excellence and college preparedness along with providing opportunities for parents, students, mentors and other community members to learn and grow together by sharing their knowledge, wisdom and strengths with each other.
Students in the Mizizi Maji Mentoring Program can earn trips by keeping their grades up, being involved in community service and positive extracurricular activities. Our program has allowed students to travel to locations not only in Michigan, but around the country and abroad as well!
On these trips students visit historical sites, landmarks, and a multitude of ethnic restaurants and communities. By exposing students to different cultures and ways of life we are able to build both their social and cultural competency skills. When our students venture off into the world to go to college they will have familiarity with navigating in other cultures, big cities, airports, and feel confident flying, taking the train, subway or ferry. They will also see something bigger for their lives and move towards it with confidence!
Students visited the African Canadian Historical Museum in rural North Buxton. The area guards priceless history of Canadian african american culture.
In addition to rural and urban areas, our students visited several historic sites, including the famous Mandela house in Johannesburg.
Trips to major cities like New York, Chicago and Toronto introduce our students to new environments and prepare them for future adventures. The sky is the limit when it comes to future experiences!
Written by our students
“We are urban youth, moving forward, non-stop living every day to its full potential. We are urban youth, caring for our community, going somewhere, giving back, educated, determined, encouraged and mature, showing respect for ourselves, as well as others. We are urban youth in the Mizizi (root) Maji (water) Mentoring Program. We are urban youth, living non-violently with pride.”
One to one mentor matches are gradual and born out of relationships developed during weekly group mentoring meetings. Some mentors, students and parents seek one to one mentoring, others seek group mentoring and others are interested in both. Each family and mentoring situation is unique and care is taken to find the mentoring relationship that is most productive for each person involved.
The Mentoring Program has limited enrollment and requires commitment from youth participants, who must complete an application and interview process to join the program. For further information or to come to a Parent and Mentee Orientation, contact Sharon LaChappelle by telephone at (616) 456-8593 ext. 233 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many parents come to the program along with their children! We go on field trips and do many fun hands on projects and parents have fun taking part in the activities along with students. Parents are part of the group mentoring support network!
Typically mentors are 19 years or older. If you are interested in being a mentor, please call Sharon LaChappelle at 616-456-8593 or email her at email@example.com to sign up for a volunteer mentor orientation.
Volunteer mentors start as “group mentors” and can gradually work into one-to- one mentoring. This process allows mentors to get a feel for the program and students. It also provides mentors with a built in support network. Time commitment varies, but most mentors should count on investing about two to three hours per week to begin with.
©2016 Baxter Community Center