Youth support

In addition to boat building and environmental education, Rocking the Boat offers counseling, mentoring, and conflict resolution for its students. I have asked Annie Kelly, Student Advocate at RTB, to give me a couple tips on how to support students. Here are excerpts from Annie’s response:

“You need to be a positive role model and be consistent. Let students know that you care. Keep healthy boundaries with young people, you can’t be their best friend. But you need to show them that you are a steady adult figure in their life that they can come to, that they can trust. Being consistent is the only way to do that. It may take teens weeks or months to actually approach you with more something substantial and discuss their problems. But they will always know that you are around, you care, that you are consistent in the way you interact with them. You don’t want to play favorites, so you are not sending a confusing message. That’s how you build rapport and trust over time. You can’t expect an instant relationship, but if you do the basics – saying hello and knowing their name, asking how was your day and how are you, – then eventually they can approach you.”

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