Promotores! – The Power of Mentoring

Harnessing the power of mentoring to help connect youth to jobs, school and community

Dear Friends!

We are excited to share that Mano a Mano has partnered with a national leader in serving disconnected youth, the Washington, D.C.-based Latin American Youth Center (LAYC).  Mano a Mano will become the first replication site outside of the D.C-area for the Promotor Pathway©, a promising new approach to,

  • help youth graduate post-secondary (including trade school),
  • find stable employment post-graduation,
  • and acquire skills and knowledge for a healthy life.

The Power of Mentoring

75317993Few, if any, approaches can be as successful as mentoring.  Youth who overcame challenges always point back to a mentor, and not a program, as being essential in helping them succeed despite all odds.  Youth live complicated lives, and their challenges are the result of multiple adverse experiences over many years.  Expecting change over a few months is unrealistic.  Working with youth must be seen as a long term labor of love, commitment, and dedication.

We know this approach works because we’ve done this before, albeit informally:

J.J. and his family moved to Salem from California, in the nineties.  His family came to Mano a Mano, and J.J. joined our youth program, the L.U.S. Youth organization.  Like many gang affected youth, he struggled with various issues, became a parent early, and was on his way to being another statistic.  At Mano a Mano, J.J. met mentors, like Martha Calderon and Roberto Barraza, who believed in him.   Thanks to the support of these mentors, and to a lot of hard work on his part, J.J. is now an educator, a mentor and an inspiration to a new generation of youth.

What is the Promotor Pathway© Program?

Launched in August 2008 by the Latin American Youth Center (Washington, D.C.), the Promotor Pathway© is a long-term client management intervention model for disconnected youth.  Youth are screened to identify those who are disconnected and at high risk.  Once admitted into the program, youth are paired with a Promotor, their mentor and personal youth advocate.  This program is intended to support youth for as long as needed, up to age 24.  According to a recent evaluation, youth who receive a Promotor under this program are,

  • more likely to be enrolled in school;
  • less likely to have an unwanted pregnancy; and
  • less likely to have experienced homelessness

Who are the Promotores and what do they do?

Promotores are highly experienced youth workers that serve as advocates, intensive case managers and mentors who work on a one-on-one basis with disconnected youth to build transformational relationships.  Promotores remove barriers, proactively encourage participation in a broad set of services, and connect youth to other needed resources within the community, so they may make a successful transition to adulthood and reconnect to their families and communities.

Parenting and additional supports

IMG_3185In addition to working with a Promotor (Youth Advocate), participants will get access to more than 6 hours of after school activities per week, including leadership trainings, service learning, cultural, and artistic activities, health promotion and group mentoring.

We also realize that family support is important.  Mano a Mano will provide parenting supports, such as peer support groups, parenting classes, and case management designed to help parents provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for their children.  These supports are also available to youth not receiving a Promotor.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Couple Standing Back to BackThe Promotor Pathway© delivers the greatest ROI when engaging disconnected youth — young people whose circumstances, limited opportunities, and undeveloped skills would — if not changed — result in unfulfilled lives and a burden to society.  This impact is generational.  We also believe that a 20 youth cohort could:

  • Have a lifetime net fiscal contribution to society of $5.7 Million or more, by graduating high school (compared to high school dropouts);
  • Increase their potential earnings by as much as $2.08 Million over ten years, by graduating with an Associate’s or Trade School Degreee (compared to high school graduates); and
  • Save the State as much as $1.76 Million per year, in the cost of locking up 20 young persons in a juvenile facility.

How you can help!

We are launching this new initiative with an initial investment of $15,000, with one Promotor who will serve 5 youth from our area.  Our goal for this pilot is to serve a minimum of 20 youth by July, 2016, and gradually increase to a total of 100 over the next three years.

The cost of a full time Promotor for 20 youth is about $50,000.  We have an urgent need of raising $35,000.

If everyone reading this message were to donate $300 (that would be more than $200,000!), we’d be able to serve 60 youth, with 3 full time Promotores, and have additional funding for after school activities, and parenting supports.

Please, print out the donation slip below and mail it in as a pledge or with your donation to MANO A MANO, 2921 Saddle Club ST SE #1009, Salem, OR 97317 or click here to donate.


Thanks for your initial commitment of $15,000 from 2015-2016:

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Donation Record


Posted on: August 4, 2015, by : Administrator