Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen in on a webinar given by Sea Change Mentoring. This organization, founded by Ellen Mahoney, is designed for third culture kids from the ages 16-23, although they are open to reaching out to help children as young as 13. Read their mission below:
“Help international teens develop into happy and successful adults through the power of mentoring and our tailored curriculum.”
Ellen is a TCK herself. She shared her story with us of the time she returned to the US for university alone. It was a very hard year as she felt lonely and even depressed. She found out that she was not the only one – that many of her other TCK friends were also experiencing the various degrees of the same feelings. Throughout her life she has helped children. She began as a high school teacher, then began working with an online mentoring group in the US, and now is the Founder and CEO of Sea Change Mentoring.
So what is Sea Change Mentoring?
It is just that – mentoring third culture kids through all the change that they go through. The mentoring is currently being facilitated through Skype by professionally trained mentors that have overseas experience. They use a tailored curriculum for TCKs that was developed by a TCK. Some of the “units” that are covered are Building Strong Relationships, Healthy Good-byes, Career Exploration, Career EQ, Becoming Independent, and much more.
Why is this so important?
We all know that the expat life is much like sea waves, coming and going. Children may have a difficult time adjusting or connecting with friends. This program is designed to be a 2-3 year commitment allowing the mentor time to help the child go through changes, nudging them to build heathy relationships, as well as other issues they may be facing. And for those that are older, to help them begin to think about being independent BEFORE they are independent. We as parents can help, yes, and we should be involved in this process – but sometimes a third party that is standing on the outside can see the whole picture. Possibly even better since this person understands all the emotions that our children are going through. Sea Change works with the child, but they also communicate with the parents – which I found, as a parent, to be comforting. Sea Change was founded in 2012 and launched their first pilot program this past January. So, it’s fairly new – but I don’t believe there is anything like it out there for TCKs. If you have children in this age range and wondering how you can help them with adjustment, this might be a really good option. If you would like more information, you can click here.
**I just want to note that I did not receive anything for this review, but that it is solely my own opinion from what I learned about through the webinar.