Brockton Christian mentoring initiative (BCMI) seeks to see Brockton-area youth reach their God-given potential through caring relationships with Christian adults – where an adult serves as a role model to a youth by being available to listen and encourage. We work to build partnerships between churches and the community for the good of the whole city through serving our Youth. We do this by matching youth (ages 8-14yrs old) with Christian adults for one-on-one mentoring and group mentoring.

BCMI respects church-state issues; we consistently abide by the boundaries of church-state separation. All mentors are trained to strictly adhere to state guidelines to ensure that the program does not violate the separation of church and state.

We partner with principles, guidance counselors and school resource officers of Brockton area Schools as well as the Brockton Police department in identifying students who are in need of caring one-on-one mentoring relationships

Did you know?

In the summer of 2007 the founder of Life Transforming Leadership Foundation, Rev. Dr. Mark T. Oliver approached Mr. Jim Harrington the Mayor of Brockton, and asked him if he would be interested in meeting with pastors to regularly pray for him and the City of Brockton. Without hesitation he said, “Yes, I need all the prayer I can get!”

 

It was during one of those prayer meetings that some pastors learned that one very special “burden” of the Mayor was for the children in the city who were living in broken homes. He knew how such a life could very easily translate to things like emotional issues, truancy, youth crime and even the gang involvement. In part because he was the Mayor, but more because he was a grandfather, his heart ached for the many children of the city who still needed some caring adults in their life.

 

In addition, Mayor Harrington knew that a clean park alone, or a better basketball program alone was not going to help a child overcome the challenges that studies show can best be met with a long term caring relationship. He knew that we needed to not just treat the symptoms but rather as a community strive to also develop the character and esteem of our children. He believed that the churches could be an added strength to the team of those already putting the call out for caring adults.

So, at one of those prayer meetings, the Mayor came right out and challenged the pastors, “This is a job where we really need the churches to step up and help!” He told us that approximately 2,000 young people in our city could use another caring adult in their life. In fact, around that same time, a spokesman from the police department said, “We could place three hundred Junior Highers with mentors today if you had them!”

 

It was this challenge by the Mayor that moved Dr. Oliver, who was already in the process of encouraging the Brockton churches to find ways to work together, to consider a city-wide mentoring ministry. Throughout 2008 Dr. Oliver met with pastors one-to-one to introduce the idea of a city-wide church response, as well as asking them if they would at least attend an information meeting in January of 2009 to explore the possibility.

The meeting was held with Mr. Peter Vanacore, founder and Executive Director of Christian Mentoring Institute (Christianmentoring.org) serving as the guest expert. Mr. Vanacore with his many years of experience in linking Christians with at-risk youth spoke to the Mayor, the police chief and to fourteen pastors about the key difference a mentor can make. There was a positive response and in a short time Mr. Vanacore was making regular trips to Brockton to lead a handful of concerned individuals representing a few churches to launch what is now Brockton Christian Mentoring Initiative.  The founding team included Pastor Mark Oliver (Trinity Baptist Church), Deaconess Jean Brewster and Min. Gaylord and Deaconess Karen Penn (Lincoln Congregational Church) and Minister Patricia Price (Full Gospel Tabernacle Church). The first brochure was drafted, and by April of 2009 the first mentor training was held at Lincoln Congregational Church with almost twenty people being trained as mentors.

 

In the first two years, through the sacrificial work of many, but most especially Mrs. Jean Brewster, the city-wide ministry of BCMI was started. Gradually, there were meetings with pastors and school officials exploring ways to partner in order to bring mentoring to our young people. Then, in the fall of 2010 a small grant was secured in order to hire a part-time director, someone who would give the time to advance as well as coordinate our efforts.

 

In the early part of 2011 Ms. Katie Sandford was hired as the first BCMI Director to help us all to develop and coordinate our trainings and our practices to insure that each Mentor-protégé match was maintained at a quality level. Through her leadership, two other grants were secured including one through a partnership with Mass Mentoring of which we are currently included as partner.

 

As churches come together in meeting this one critical cry for help, we believe BCMI continues to be a blessing to young people, their family and our city. We also are convinced that the Lord bless each participating church as together we find ways to let the children come to Him.  If you are considering becoming a partner with BCMI, we are very thankful for you.

BCMI is a member of Mass Mentoring Partnership (massmentors.org) and Christian Association of Youth mentor