Beyond Cultural Humility: Soft Skills to Support Cross-Cultural Matches

Mentoring relationships often bring together young people and adults with a diversity of backgrounds. This workshop will help equip participants with the skills and knowledge to best support these cross-cultural matches.

About the presenter: 

Brooks Frederick is a visual artist and senior adjunct professor at Adelphi University, where he co-leads implicit bias and anti-racism workshops through the External Diversity Certificate Program. Along with a cohort of young adults, Brooks founded the peer leadership program at Adelphi. The Peer Leaders support the voices of teen artists as they develop leadership skills on liberation issues. He is a member of anti-racist organizations based in Brooklyn committed to helping individuals and communities unlearn the harmful messages of racism, white supremacy, and internalized racism.

Practical Strategies for Racial Equity in Youth Support Programs

Limited access to executive function skill building is a common barrier increasing the achievement gap for students of color. These disparities are further intensified in the era of a global pandemic and social unrest. This workshop will examine racial inequity in education and provide mentors with techniques to recognize and address executive function impairments. This will enable students to become confident, independent learners and successful adults.

About the presenter: 

Dr. Noreen Stewart empowers young people to unlock their potential by overcoming their unique challenges.  She is the founder and CEO of Stewart Learning Inc., a Senior Psychologist at Bay Ridge Prep in Brooklyn, NY, and an Adjunct Professor in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. At BRP Dr. Stewart creates the academic mentoring course curriculum, counsels and teaches students daily with learning and attentional difficulties within a general education school. At NYU, she teaches graduate students earning advanced degrees in counseling.


Dr. Stewart provides virtual workshops for mentors, students, educators, and parents. She specializes in equipping learning and support environments (e.g. schools, mentoring programs, community organizations, etc.) with the training needed to prepare students for life during and after high school. Her custom approach also addresses a range of student needs including ADHD, dyslexia, high functioning autism, anxiety, depression, OCD, working memory deficits, processing speed issues and learning disabilities.  Dr. Stewart earned her PhD in School Psychology, Professional Diploma in School Psychology, and MSEd in Therapeutic Interventions from Fordham University. She completed her BS in Human Development & Psychological Services at Northwestern University.

Addressing Trauma Through Mentoring

Developing an understanding and the skills to address trauma in mentoring relationships is crucial. This workshop will address understanding trauma and trauma-informed care and will provide tips, strategies and frameworks for you to use for your mentoring relationships and yourselves.

About the presenter: 

Dr. Laura Quiros: I am an Associate Professor of Social Work at Adelphi University for the past eleven years and Trauma-Informed DEI Consultant . I teach social work practice at the Doctoral and Masters level and in Fall 2019. My research and scholarly interests focus on trauma-informed care from a social justice lens. Using my lens as an educator, researcher, author, practitioner, trauma survivor, mother and woman of color from a multiracial and multiethnic background, I identified a deficiency and an interconnectedness in the fields of trauma, diversity and inclusion and social work education and leadership. The common thread in my teaching, scholarship and service is elevating complexity and furthering the mission of social justice, from a trauma-informed lens.

I strive to find spaces in the classroom to positively disrupt traditional classroom culture. I define my practice as one that is grounded in compassion and driven by the desire for brave learning spaces that are sincerely inclusive. As a Black Latina who is also Jewish, I grew up navigating racism and anti-Semitism, and so creating diverse, equitable and inclusive classrooms- is my heart space. I believe my trauma-informed social justice research and teaching philosophy, are critical during this moment of complex trauma. Much of my work and research can be found on my website. 




Recruiting and Retaining Mentors of Color

Looking to recruit volunteers who reflect the young people being served in your program? MENTOR Nebraska’s training expert, Marisa Hattab, will lead this workshop focused on examining organizational leadership, culture, and procedures and how those aspects correlate and impact what kind of mentors and volunteers are drawn to your organizations.

About the presenter: 

Marisa Hattab joined MENTOR Nebraska in 2019 and currently serves as the Training & Partnership Development Manager.  In her role, Marisa provides on the ground support for the advancement of Youth Initiated Mentoring, training and technical assistance, and leads our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce with a heavy focus on racial equity reform. Prior to this role, she spent more than ten years actively engaging with youth through mentoring and education. Marisa is passionate about seeing youth evolve into confident leaders who aim to change not just their circumstances, but also their communities.


Marisa earned her bachelor’s degree in Middle Childhood Education from Wright State University. Outside of work, Marisa serves as the Co-Chair on MENTOR National’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee. In addition, she is a member of the Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals and serves as the Co-Chair of their Advocacy Committee.

Leveraging Informal & Natural Mentors

Anywhere that young people interact with caring adults is a place where mentor-like relationships can occur. This workshop will address what informal and natural mentors are and how you can best leverage those types of mentors to better serve the young people in your community. 

About the presenters: 

Tommy McClam: As a native of Buffalo, New York, Tommy received his formal education in the Buffalo Public School system. He later graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Leadership Development, specializing in Accounting. Tommy also completed the Harvard Kennedy School, Leadership, Organizing, and Action: Leading Change Executive program. He has also taken numerous courses specializing in mentoring and youth leadership and development.

As the Say Yes Buffalo, Director of Mentoring/ Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Initiative, he oversees a city-wide coalition to accelerate positive outcomes for BMoC across the cradle-to-career continuum. He has completed a successful career as the Upstate New York Information Systems Division Chief with the Internal Revenue Service.  In addition, as an ordained pastor, Tommy has over twenty-year experience in the faith community, involved in youth ministry and youth development work.  As a significant component of his youth development experience, he was the National Director of Mentoring for YouthBuild USA, instrumental in implementing their national mentoring model for opportunity youth. He has over 25 years of mentoring experience specializing in assisting programs in developing programs that meet the needs of opportunity youth.  As Deputy Director of Open Buffalo, a community movement for social and economic justice, he pursued his passion for equity and social justice for the underserved. Tommy’s work with young people, along with his commitment to the community, has allowed him to experience and better understand the challenges many of our disadvantaged and underserved youth experience in the educational, employment, housing, and other systems that hinder their success. Tommy has traveled throughout the country, presenting motivational and informative seminars, trainings, and workshops for adult professionals, young people, and families. Tommy’s passion is to see all people strive for excellence and reach their transformative God-given potential.

Daniel Robertson is a native of Buffalo, NY and currently serves as the Program Manager of the Boys and Men of Color Initiative with Say Yes Buffalo. Over his 7 years with Say Yes Buffalo, Daniel assisted with the progression of the Say Yes Summer Camps, created and launched the Say Yes Buffalo Scholar Mentoring Program and worked as a Family Support Specialist. Daniel is the proud father of a beautiful daughter and a product of both Buffalo Public Schools and Turner Carroll High School. Often referred to as “Mr. Daniel” or “Mr. D” by parents and students, he has always had a passion for serving and mentoring youth, while helping to provide them with the same opportunities he was afforded to reach his goals as a student.

Daniel attended the University at Buffalo where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree Early Childhood Education. He also obtained a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College. Daniel was recognized by Buffalo Business First as a 30 Under Thirty Honoree, along with recognition from CAO’s Education Task Force, Mayor Byron W. Brown, Grassroots, and Ballin For a Cause, Inc. due to his valuable contributions in the field of youth services and the community. Recently, Daniel was named as one of the recipients of the 2020 Pay It Forward Award for the work he’s been engaged in to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color in Western New York.

Daniel is now charged with what he refers to as “the most challenging and important work of his life” … improving the life outcomes for boys and young men of color. Entrusted with the task of promoting and elevating the voices of young men, changing narrative, advocating for policy changes, and building young leaders are now the fabric of Daniel’s work alongside his mentor Tommy McClam.

Daniel’s academic excellence, professional accomplishments and insurmountable commitment to educating and supporting youth is evident in all of his endeavors.

Telling Your Program's Story with a Logic Model

Developing a logic model is the first step to building a complete program evaluation strategy. This workshop will talk through identifying your assets and strengths to tell your story and start measuring your programs effectiveness.

About the presenter: 

Jack Kavanaugh is the Director of Training & Program Development for MENTOR New York. He has worked with youth development and youth mentoring programs for the past fifteen years, including summer camps after school programs, school-based programs, in the public and private school systems and in other community-based organizations. With MENTOR New York, Jack has provided training and consulting services to dozens of youth-serving organizations and trained hundreds of people on mentoring and best practices around relationship building. Jack is a New York State licensed LMSW, with his BA from Goucher College and MSW from the University at Buffalo.

It’s All About the Girls: Mentor African American Girls as If Their Health Depends On It

The current crises associated with the health pandemic, economic instability and social justice have renewed critical conversations about promoting the health and wellbeing of young people, especially Black girls. In addressing questions of race and gender, the field of social work mandates a focus on cultural trust and confidence, strengths-based mentoring, equitable learning opportunities and close alliances with girls, their families and communities. This session will engage participants in a conversation about authentic exemplars of youth outcomes that matter to young people, their families and communities. We will use award winning children’s literature to frame cultural competence, teach problem solving and overcome obstacles to building joy in mentoring relationships.

About the presenter: 

Dr. Sekai Turner, PhD, MSW, MPS, Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Work at Keuka College. Prior to her appointment at KC, she was 4-H Youth Development Specialist at North Carolina A&T State University. During this time, she was honored to collaborate with local communities to design and direct youth mentoring programs tailored to the unique needs and interests of Native American and African American youth with support from National 4-H and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She was a professor in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh and faculty affiliate at the Center for Minority Health.


Dr. Turner's  professional interests relate to youth development with a particular focus on the health and education of African American girls, leadership, rural school-community and intercultural partnerships, applied program development and curriculum design.  She credits the social work profession’s emphasis on cultural competence and collaborative partnerships based on trust and confidence for reaching youth in culturally diverse local, national and international contexts and expanding family and community involvement.


She is affiliated with the Council on Social Work Education, International Federation of Social Workers, National Rural Social Work Caucus and the American Public Health Association.



TODAY IN MENTORING (TIM) TALK: Building Systems & Organizations to Support Racial Equity

Dive into this Today in Mentoring (TIM) Talk with experts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Chotsani Williams West and Dr. Rolanda Ward. Along with MENTOR NY CEO Brenda Jimenez, they will discuss how to examine systems and the work of your organization with a racial equity lens and give examples of how to elevate equity in those spaces.


Presenting Panelists:

  • Chotsani Williams West, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Adjunct Professor, College of Arts & Sciences / College of Education and Health Sciences, Adelphi University (read bio)

  • Dr. Rolanda Ward, Associate Professor of Social Work at Niagara University and Endowed Faculty Director of the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equity, and Mission (read bio)

  • Brenda Jimenez, CEO, MENTOR New York (read bio)

PLENARY: Youth Stories and Youth Leadership

Youth leaders will take the mic during this plenary discussion and share firsthand stories and experiences about how they turned their interests into action and the role caring adults played in their growth and success.  



Dr. Elizabeth Santiago, Founder, The Untold Narratives, and Senior Consultant, MENTOR National (read bio)

Presenting Panelists:

  • Ivette Maza Cabrera, Student, Queens College, and Program Research Intern, MENTOR New York (read bio)

  • Olivia Larson, Executive Director, For Every Little Handprint (read bio)

  • Javeon Mathews, Youth Activist (read bio)

  • Jasiah Jackson, Patient Services Specialist, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western NY (read bio)



Inspiring and Empowering Black & Brown Youth through Mentoring

presented by Dr. Nisha Sachdev, DrPh, PsyD

Senior Associate at the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools George Washington University

Nisha Sachdev_Bainum hi res.jpg

How do we break down power dynamics in mentoring relationships to leave space for co-learning and caring? How can responsive preventative practices be implemented to support youth in their development? How do we work around system issues that create barriers to effective mentoring practices? In this keynote, Dr. Nisha Sachdev, DrPH, PsyD, Senior Associate at the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at the George Washington University will share how these questions and more play a role in how mentoring can be leveraged to empower and inspire Black and Brown youth.

About the presenter:

Dr. Nisha Sachdev is a public health consultant, strategist and senior clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience leading multi-million programs within governmental agencies, organizations and foundations to address social issues in underrepresented communities. With a focus on cross-collaboration with public and private partners, Nisha develops the capacity of organizations and agencies to design and implement high-impact, system-level policies and interventions locally, nationally and globally to reduce the social and health disparities experienced by children, youth and families. Nisha’s work includes serving as the Senior Director of Evaluation at the Bainum Family Foundation. In this role, Nisha built the foundation’s evaluation infrastructure to assess the foundation’s impact on early learning, school mental health, and food security initiatives. She also developed, launched, and staffed a $5 million School Mental Health initiative in partnership with district, national and federal agencies and schools that leveraged local and federal dollars to scaled research, practice and policy efforts expanding access to quality school mental health services and supports. Previously, her work included building and overseeing the evaluation for Washington, DC citywide and organizational initiatives. She was also instrumental in assisting the organization and the city in collecting indicators and making data-driven strategic decisions to increase the outcomes for children, youth, and families in the District using a collective impact approach. Nisha’s systems level work is complemented with her local non-profit experiences. Nisha served as Executive Director at Coaching for College and Founder of Breaking the Cycle, where she was responsible for creating and implementing annual strategic plans, managing program operations, and developing program evaluation systems to ensure quality and effective programming was being provided to youth from some of the most vulnerable areas in the city. Globally, Nisha has consulted with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago where she was responsible for developing an adolescent health policy and evaluating a regional program promoting anti-violence. Nisha also specializes in working directly with youth in a variety of settings including foster care, court systems, schools, social service organizations, and community-based organizations. She began her career working as a special education teacher. Nisha continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University and Trinity University. Nisha earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Health in Global Health Promotion, a Master of Psychology, and a Doctorate of Public Health in Health Behavior, and a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from the George Washington University.