Welcome to the online home of Empower Mentoring Program. We are a Seattle based 501(c)(3) organization who’s mission is to create lasting relationships between mentors and students, in which the student feels empowered to take responsibility for their own life.

January 2017-Internet Safety and The Living Computer Museum

This month our students and mentors learned about internet safety. We started the evening by discussing how to keep ourselves safe online.
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Our tips included

-Changing passwords often
-Talk to adults
-Don’t share too much
-Ignore, Block, Tell

internet safety
‘Tracking Teresa’ video and discussion

After discussing how to stay safe online, we viewed a video produced by Netsmartz titled “Tracking Teresa”. In this video we saw how easily it was to track someone online by using their personal information posted on the internet. Students and their mentors created an ‘Internet Safety Action Plan’. Watch the video here.

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We decided a fun way to learn about ‘trust’ online, was to play 2 truths and a lie. We experienced how hard it is to figure out what is true about someone, even someone you thought you knew.

The Living Computer Museum

This month, our community outing was at the Living Computer Museum. Mentors and students enjoyed exploring vintage computers, playing ‘The Oregon Trail’ on the Apple Lisa 2, and driving the first 3-D self-driving car. Students and mentors interacted with new technology, drove robots, and used vintage computers to make punch tape. Spending time at the Living Computer Museum is always a blast.
rivers and han living computer museum

March 2016-Diversity, stereotypes and the escalation of hate.

During our March workshop, we opened our selves up to discuss some deep and controversial topics. First we had to learn how to make a stand and publicly show where our opinions lie. The students and mentors had to make decisions on if they agreed with, disagreed with, or were unsure of, topics such as ‘video games make teens violent’, ‘most adults do not respect teens’ and ‘public school students should wear uniforms’. These statements seemed easy to make opinions on, but then the tougher statements came which included ‘since the 9/11 attacks, the world is no longer safe’, ‘anyone who wants to come to the USA, should be allowed to’, and ‘if someone is a threat the the USA the government should monitor their life’.

 Students and mentors alike, said that making their opinions public was challenging. When they were the only person with one opinion and the rest of the group was on the opposite side of the room, they felt lonely and started to wonder if they were making the right opinion. As we discussed the different reasons why people keep quite about their opinions, it was decided that the reason people don’t change their opinions very often, is because of fear. The fear of the unknown, fear of leaving the majority, fear of ridicule, and the fear that they will no longer be safe.

As our discussion started to evolve, we started talking about the escalation of hate. We talked about how there is a a triangle of hate that move up, starting with stereotypes, prejudice, scapegoating, discrimination, violence and lastly genocide. Each of these models of hate are horrible, but they get worse as the hate escalates. As mentor/student matches, the group worked through different scenarios to decide which example was which kind of hate.

Some matches decided that trying to match the type of hate and the example wasn’t as clear cut, many examples could be multiple forms of hate. The example ‘Magazines rarely photograph overweight people positively’, is both prejudice and discrimination. Groups then broke up to work on finding their own examples of the modes of hate. They came back together and had many examples, and we discussed the effects of hate on a society, and what are some ways we can stop hate. One person had the idea, that we should stop hate as it happens, instead of ignoring it and letting it escalate.

We ended the evening on a note of celebration. Some of our students have accomplished their academic goals, and we honored them with a certificate and a prize. All our students are continuing and striving to accomplish their goals by our next completion in June. Help us congratulate Luke, Nayeli, Sophia, Jalean, and Rheea for achieving their goals!
Watch our videos about cyberbullying: video 1 video 2!


Help us win $15K!

We have been rewarded a $5000 People Helping People award from BECU. Now we are in the running for the People’s Choice award which is $15K. Please vote by August 29th to help us win. Winners are notified on September 16th.

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