TASK FORCE 1 WEB OF SUPPORT
A vital piece of the Cradle to Career Initiative is the importance of mentors or significant individuals in the lives of young people. Behind every successful person is a “team” of individuals who has helped guide them along the way. An approach that has worked successfully in other communities over the years is Derek Peterson’s “Web of Support” concept which states that all people need at least five trusted adults in their lives. Without a “web of support” in place, it would be extremely hard for an individual to reach their full potential.
Muncie Action Plan (MAP) has partnered with United Way, the George and Frances Ball Foundation, Muncie Community Schools, Ball State University, and Sustainable Muncie to address the need for supportive relationships for all people in the community. Based on community input, MAP identified the public’s desire to expand and develop local mentoring programs. Derek’s “Web of Support” will offer a community-wide approach for connecting people to one another in intentional, and meaningful ways.
After months of planning, an initial face-to-face conversation about “Web of Support” took place on October 23rd with approximately 15 community leaders. Derek was then able to visit Muncie on October 31st. He held a two-hour presentation as an introduction to “Web of Support” with approximately 40 community leaders in attendance. MAP is continuing conversations with Derek, and he will be visiting Muncie from January 28th-31st to lead four days of training with two very diverse groups of 50 adults and 50 teens. He will also be giving a public presentation as part of the MAP Annual Report Meeting to be held at Muncie Central High School on the 28th, as well as a community-wide presentation on January 30th at Muncie Central High School.