PAR FORE-NJ

PAR FORE (Perseverance, Accountability, Resiliency, Fellowship, Opportunity, Respect, Empowerment) is a community and occupation based, golf mentorship program for at risk youth.  The overall goal of PAR FORE is to prevent gang membership. PAR FORE NJ housed in Kean University’s Department of Occupational Therapy is one of three current chapters.
 
Within this program, youth engage in a variety of group and individual sessions facilitated by graduate occupational therapy students, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.  Youth are taught the game of golf as way to further promote responsibility, accountability and proper etiquette.  Each youth is paired with a Kean University student as a mentor.
 
PAR FORE New Jersey’s programming is facilitated year round via an after school program and a six week summer camp. 
 
PAR FORE also uses Level I and Level II occupational therapy fieldwork students to develop and implement the year round programming, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. 
 
Please visit the PAR FORE web page for more information on other chapters and programming, as well as the history of this program.
 
 
Mission and Objectives

Mission:  The mission of the program is to address the occupational, social, emotional, cognitive, and physical challenges of at-risk youth living in economically disadvantaged areas of New Jersey and provide them with the opportunity to develop health-promoting life skills via engagement in the activity of golf, life skills training, community activities, and mentorship in alternative safe environments. These environments include local golf courses, driving ranges, and the Kean University campus. PAR FORE New Jersey at Kean University will act as one of the community leaders, working with at-risk youth to help build strong resiliency despite a disadvantaged context.  
 
The PAR FORE program objectives include, but are not limited to: 
·         empowering at risk youths to develop a sense of self and resilience;
·         develop respect for self, family and community members; and 
·         develop a moral and ethical character, pride, and virtues
 
 
PAR FORE Mentor Program

A Call for Kean University Student Mentors
mĕn’ – tŏr: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher
 
Mentor for fun and community.  Perseverance, Accountability, Resilience, Fellowship, Opportunity, Respect, and Empowerment (PAR FORE) is an integrated occupation based prevention mentor program using the game of golf to teach necessary life skills. The mentorship consists of at-risk young adolescents and a Kean University student mentor. Mentors engage in all activities in all environments, along with the youth, as PAR FORE utilizes a site based mentorship model under the supervision of KU occupational therapy faculty. PAR FORE incorporates therapeutic principles inherent in the sport of golf to foster positive personal, social, and physical growth and development for Newark adolescents who are at-risk for affiliation in gang activity.  Adolescents have the opportunity to engage in a productive activity that fosters positive social interaction. The role of the mentor is to provide a therapeutic relationship that helps to foster increased communication/social skills and a positive sense of self within the youth. If you are an avid golfer or interested in learning how to golf, this is a great opportunity to make a difference while doing something you enjoy.
 
A matter of trust.  Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support, and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee. A mentor is an adult who provides a young person with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement, and constructive example. Mentors are people who are good listeners, who care, and who want to help young people develop strengths they already have. A mentor is not a therapist or cool peer.
 
Mentoring works.  In her book Stand by Me: The Risks and Rewards of Mentoring Today's Youth, Dr. Jean Rhodes of the University of Massachusetts concludes that mentors influence young people in three important ways: 1) by enhancing social skills and emotional well-being; 2) by improving cognitive skills through dialogue and listening; and 3) by serving as a role model and advocate. 
 
Get the facts. For more information, contact Dr. Mary Falzarano at (908) 737-5854 or mafalzar@kean.edu.
 
Requirements to Become a Mentor for the PAR FORE Program
  1. Must be a full time student at Kean University in good academic standing that must be maintained throughout the mentoring assignment. 
  2. Must submit a completed mentor application. The mentor application (coming online soon) is available in the Department of Occupational Therapy (East Campus Suite 224). 
  3. Must submit 2 letters of recommendations, one of which must be from a supervisor or employer who had/has known the applicant for at least 1 year and 4 references. 
  4. Must complete a background check for submission to the Kean University PAR FORE chapter program director, Dr. Jennifer Gardner and Mentor program coordinator, Dr. Mary Falzarano. 
  5. Complete demographic information (age, gender, program of study) and open-ended questions about their interests and perceived benefits of mentoring. 
  6. Potential mentors must complete a face-to-face interview with PAR FORE staff (the graduate OT student interns, Dr. Falzarano, or Dr. Gardner). The purpose of the interview is to see if the mentorship program is good fit for you and if you are a good fit for the program. 
 
 
PAR FORE Media

PAR FORE IN THE NEWS: PAR FORE, NJ generated media coverage this summer, both internally and externally. The following are news stories and additional links to articles and clips. 
 
 
 
PAR FORE INAUGURAL CEREMONY: We are proud to share that The First Tee of Metropolitan New York has released an article highlighting PARFORE's Inaugural Ceremony held in Newark on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Please click here to access the article.
 
PAR FORE-NJ made it on Channel Nine News on July 27, 2012! 
The department of occupational therapy is extremely proud of Dr. Jennifer Gardner and the Level 2 Students, Mandie Maddox, Dave O'Brien, and Ruchika Walia for the amazing job that they are doing with the summer program.  WWOR-TV provided coverage of the summer camp and aired a news story on July 30, 2012 titled, "Fighting Gangs with Golf." Click here to watch the news video.
July 2012: PAR FORE has been highlighted on the Kean XChange website! View the article here
 
June 2012: Kean Xchange has written the following wonderful article about the launch of PAR FORE-NJ. Click here to read!
 
Don’t forget to like PAR FORE NJ on Facebook! 
 
 
Qualitative Feedback Regarding Success of the Program

  • “This was the best summer I’ve ever had!” - youth participant report
  • “Thank you for helping me achieve my goals at camp and my goals in life.” - youth participant report
  • “I have noticed a [positive]difference in his behavior at home.” - parent report
  • “I am grateful for what this camp has provided.” - guardian report
  • “I enjoyed my experience and had a great time working with the mentees.  This program is such a great way for the mentees to stay focused and lead successful, productive lives.” - KU college student mentor
  • “It was a phenomenal learning experience to develop the program for the new chapter of PAR FORE from scratch. Working with the at-risk youth population was challenging, and extremely rewarding.” - Level 2 fieldwork student
  • “PAR FORE was a wonderful fieldwork experience. I learned so much! It’s a great program that will continue to grow and improve every year. I am thankful to have been a part of the first summer camp. It was so rewarding working with the youth each day of camp.” - Level 2 fieldwork student
 
PAR FORE NJ Community Partners & Sponsors

Thank you to all our community partners and sponsors for supporting PAR FORE NJ!
 
PAR FORE New Jersey would like to thank The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders for its support of the program and its youth.  The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders provides access to its practice golf range and golf materials, as well as provides golf instruction to the youth. 
 
PAR FORE New Jersey would also like to thank Mr. Tim Christ and the Essex County Parks Department as well as La Casa de Don Pedro located in Newark, New Jersey.
 
The following is a growing list of companies who have generously donated:
·         Proforma AYR Graphics & Printing (320 Chestnut Street, Roselle Park, NJ 07204)
·         Newark YMCA
·         Elmora Hills Healthcare & Rehab Center (22 W. Jersey Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202)
·         Newark Police Department's Gang Enforcement Unit
·         USGA Golf Museum (77 Liberty Corner Road, Far Hills, NJ)
·         Monster Mini Golf (1235 West Chestnut Street, Union, NJ 07083)
·         Manhattan Bagel of Union (1350 Galloping Hill Road, Union, NJ 07083)
·         Blimpie's Hillside (1104  Liberty Avenue, Hillside, NJ)
·         La Piccola Pizza and Deli (1382 Morris Ave #5, Union, NJ 07083)
·         Kean University's Student Organization
·         Kean University's Occupational Therapy Class of 2013
·         Chick-fil-A at Woodbridge Center (43 Woodbridge Center Drive, Woodbridge, NJ)
·         Olive Garden (275 Route 22 East, Springfield, NJ 07081)
·         Chili's (225 Central Ave, Clark, NJ 07066)
·         TGI Friday's (40 US Highway 22, Springfield NJ 07081)
·         Papa John's (312 Rahway Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07202)
·         Flowers by Meredith (531 Lillian Terrace, Union, NJ 07083)
·         Houlihans (65 Route 1 South Woodbridge/Metuchen, NJ 08840)
·         Department of Occupational Therapy Faculty/Faculty family members
·         Bruno's Pizzeria (500 Morris Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07208)
 
Making a Donation to PAR FORE, NJ

PAR FORE New Jersey  is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. We are sustained by generous donations from individuals and local businesses throughout the community. If you or anyone you know is interested in supporting this program, you can find donate by visiting the Kean Foundation website. When choosing “Designation” from the drop down menu, please  select “Other” and type in “PAR FORE” below.
 
PAR FORE Contact Information

For more information regarding the PAR FORE program, please contact Dr. Jennifer Gardner, Kean University PAR FORE chapter program director at (908) 737-5852 or jengardn@kean.edu.  
 
For more information regarding the PAR FORE Mentor program, please contact Dr. Mary Falzarano, Mentor program coordinator at (908) 737-5854 or mafalzar@kean.edu.