MENTOR Vermont will convene the 2019 Vermont Mentoring Symposium at the Waterbury State Office Complex Thursday, May 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This daylong conference is the only professional development and networking opportunity of its kind focused on youth mentoring in Vermont and will bring together more than 50 youth mentoring program staff, board members, and supporters from across the state for a day of networking and professional development. 

The theme for this year’s event is “Empowering Young People Through a Strengths-Based Approach.”

This year, with support from Community Bank, N.A., the symposium will feature a keynote address from Paul Suk-Hyun Yoon, Senior Advisor for Strategic Diversity Assessment and Research at the University of Vermont. Previously, Yoon was assistant principal at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School

“A mentor’s most important role is to see the potential, strengths and abilities within their mentees - often before the mentees see those qualities themselves,” said Susie Merrick, Healthy Schools Coordinator in the South Burlington School District and a member of the symposium planning team. 

Specific workshops will include “A Dialogue about Race and Equity for Mentoring Coordinators” facilitated by Michael Hill, Jr., student assistant program counselor for Burlington High School and adjunct faculty member at the Community College of Vermont; “LGBTQ+ Best Practices Training” facilitated by Skylar Wolfe, director of safeSpace anti-violence program and Taylor Small, director of health and wellness program, from the Pride Center of Vermont; and “Youth Mental Health” facilitated by Sean Perry, co-founder and president of We R H.O.P.E., Inc. 

The event will also include a lunch and networking hour and peer-facilitated group discussions for mentoring programs in specific regions of the state. 

Registration is $35 per person. For more information and to register, visit

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