Project Amp is person-centered, wherein the youth participant is actively involved in and is at the center of any decisions that relate to their life. The mentoring relationship is a partnership, and mentors utilize motivational interviewing skills, frequently check in about youth preferences and comfort, and avoid giving advice or making decisions for the youth participant.2
Project Amp utilizes a trauma-informed approach that acknowledges that most youth have experienced some form of trauma. Project Amp mentors learn about the potential impact of trauma, and how best to respond in ways that are trauma-informed . Trauma-informed practices prioritize safe environments, empowering relationships, choice, cultural humility, and the avoidance of triggers in sessions.3
Project Amp is recovery-oriented. Sessions emphasize the importance of growth, connection, and self-discovery as individuals move past difficulties in life and develop their strengths, find motivations, and think about their futures.4 Even for youth who do not identify is being in or needing recovery, a recovery orientation promotes growth and healing. Project Amp also deeply values mentors’ lived experiences of recovery and resiliency and encourages them to draw on these experiences in the brief mentoring relationship.
Project Amp is founded on a strengths-based philosophy that emphasizes a person’s self-determination and strengths, as opposed to their deficits or faults. The model emphasizes the importance of helping youth to recognize their natural strengths, resources, and capabilities.5
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