What is Mayhew?
Mayhew is a program whose mission is to challenge and help at-risk New Hampshire boys to believe in themselves, work well with others, and find their best. We’re independent, non-profit, and we serve disadvantaged, at-risk boys aged 10-18 from the state of New Hampshire.
Boys begin the Mayhew experience when they’re 10 or 11 years-old, with a rigorous and challenging 25-day residential session on Mayhew Island. There are two summer sessions, each comprised of forty-two boys. The summer program promotes the development of improved self-esteem and behavior, healthier peer interactions, goal-setting skills, and a strong sense of belonging to and contributing to a positive community.
Building on each boy’s summer progress, Mayhew’s professional staff of six full-time community workers visits each boy at home and school throughout the year. The community workers serve as positive role models and friends, while encouraging each boy to make healthy life choices.
Boys participate tuition-free in the Mayhew Program and can choose to remain formally involved for up to eight years. In exchange for participating, we ask that each boy make a commitment to try to be respectful, to try his best, to take responsibility for his actions, and to try to get along with everyone.
What kind of people does Mayhew hire?
First and foremost, we look to hire good people.
We seek individuals of strong character, maturity, and personal responsibility who naturally model the sorts of behaviors and interactions we hope to promote in the boys of the program. A good sense of humor, patience, a strong work-ethic, a willingness to learn, a commitment to purpose, and a strong ability to work well with others are also tremendously important.
With the extraordinarily demanding environment we like to create on Mayhew Island, we hire only the most capable and resourceful applicants each year. Staff must be at least 18 years of age and have no criminal record. Mayhew generally hires staff with at least one year of college experience but other life-experiences may qualify. Collegiate area-of-study is not important (past staff have included English, Philosophy, Sociology, Economics, and Sports Science majors). Past experience working with children is ideal but not required. Interest in working with at-risk youth is vital.
As an all-boys program, Mayhew hires a majority-male staff. Generally three or four summer counselors, out of a total of twenty-two, are female.
What does Mayhew offer summer staff?
We offer a ten week challenge on a beautiful Island and a chance to work with some really deserving and appreciative young men. Summer salaries start at $3200 and include full room and board, but the rewards of working at Mayhew go well beyond any monetary compensation. The feelings of staff camaraderie and the shared sense of purpose are second to none. In addition, staff members gain invaluable practical skills in working with children, skills that quite naturally translate into other arenas. One staff alum writes, “Even considering my Master’s degree in Education, nothing better prepared me for life in the classroom than my summers working on Mayhew Island.”
We strive to create an overwhelmingly positive and supportive environment for everyone, and often new Mayhew staff complete the summer and leave the Island in awe of the experiences and perspective they’ve gained. They often find themselves yearning for summer days on Mayhew Island during the fall, winter, and spring months away from the program.
What does Mayhew expect of its staff?
We have the highest expectations of performance and personal conduct for our staff. We expect that staff will always model the behaviors and interactions that we ask of the boys. We live by the ideals of respect, responsibility, community, and challenge. Mayhew is an absolutely substance-free community.
In addition, staff work incredibly long hours and are afforded very limited time-off during their 10-weeks working for the summer program.
Are there opportunities for year-round, full-time employment at Mayhew?
We currently employ ten full-time, year-round staff. Of these ten individuals, six serve as Mayhew community workers, visiting with the boys of the program at home during the school year and building on the lessons of the summer. With the inevitable departure of staff-members from year to year, there are often possibilities for full-time employment. We generally restrict hiring to individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree.
What do you mean by “at-risk” boys?
Although we use the term “at-risk,” it’s not one that we particularly like. We use “at-risk” because it makes sense to many people in describing the sorts of boys whom we seek to serve: namely boys from low-income, single-parent homes in need of the sort of support that Mayhew provides.
Boys are referred to Mayhew for many different reasons. Some boys have indeed demonstrated questionable behaviors at home and at school that make them at-risk for more serious problems in the future. Other Mayhew boys simply lack opportunities to participate in the sorts of activities that Mayhew offers. Still other boys are referred to Mayhew simply because they can benefit from the boost in self-esteem that Mayhew often provides.
We like to think that everyone could benefit from a summer spent on Mayhew Island. The tough task for us is deciding which boys might benefit most from their involvement with the program.
Who pays for boys to participate in the Mayhew Program?
All Mayhew boys participate tuition-free thanks to the generosity of many. As an independent non-profit agency, Mayhew is supported entirely through the charity of others. Our largest percentage of income is provided by a generous community of private donors from across the state. In addition, we receive funding from the Granite, Monadnock, and Greater Seacoast United Ways. Other sources of income include our endowment, local businesses, various foundations, and special events like our annual golf tournament and the NH Marathon (of which Mayhew is a benefactor).
Are there work-study/for-credit options available?
Yes, sort of. We do not have an established work-study/for-credit program, but we are willing to work with any accredited university to make that option available for any interested summer staff.
Where is Mayhew Located?
Mayhew’s summer facility is located on Mayhew Island at the foot of Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire. Mayhew Island is approximately 50 acres and home only to the Mayhew Program. Access to the Island is gained only by boat. The town of Bristol is located in the lakes region of New Hampshire, just south of the White Mountains and central to the state. Bristol is approximately two hours northwest of Boston.
How can I get more information?
First of all, check out the rest of our website, http://www.mayhew.org. After that, you can contact our Program Director, Colin Buckley, via email, US Post, or phone as suggested below.
The Mayhew Program
PO BOX 120
Bristol, NH 03222-0120
office: (603) 744-6131
cell: (603) 254-7072