Frequently asked questions

Why is mentoring important?

  • We make youth feel important and capable.
  • We provide positve role models.
  • We help young people face daily challenges.
  • We support students in achieving their goals.
  • We encourage students to stay motivated and focussed.

What is mentoring?

  • An ongoing relationship with a student that can last from elementary school through high school.
  • Meeting one-on-one with a student for up to one hour per week.
  • Meeting in school or on schoool grounds during the school day.

Who are our mentors?

  • Caring adults who volunteer up to one hour a week to spend with a child.
  • Men and women, retirees, bankers, artists, doctors, police officers, homemakers-just regular folks.
  • Willing listeners who are patient, flexible, encouraging and supportive.
  • It doesn’t take a particular kind of person to be a mentor-just a kind person.

Who are the students we mentor?

  • Some are looking for new perspectives and approaches to help them make choices.
  • Many want to develop their ability to make decisions and move beyond obstacles they encounter.
  • They are just regular kids dealing with the challenges of growing up.

What happens once an application is submitted?

  • Careful screening through federal and state criminal background checks.
  • Interview with program coordinators.
  • Training in general procedures of the mentoring program, the role of a mentor, issues of confidentiality, appropriate activities for various developmental levels of children, strategies for communication, school policies and procedures.
  • Advanced training offering opportunities throughout the year on current topics of interest/importance.

How are mentors matched with their mentees?

  • Students are referred by teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, parents or at the high school, self-referral.
  • Discussions take place between staff and student regarding participation.
  • Staff has telephone discussion with parent obtaining verbal permission.
  • Formal letter sent to parent inviting student to participate with written permission slip to be signed.
  • Initial match observed for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • If initial match positive, continue throughout the school year and beyond.

What do mentors do?

  • Show up and be reliable, dependable adults.
  • Enjoy the time they spend with their students.
  • Make a minimum one-year commitment to the relationship with their student.
  • Play games or sports (indoors or out), do arts and crafts, read, do computer projects, just talk and listen-whatever the pair decides to do together each week​.

What on-going support does the program offer to mentors?

  • Regular updates through mentor review meetings with coordinator, other mentors and school staff.
  • System provided for scheduling / coordinating meetings
  • Supervision by school / program staff.
  • Information provided about appropriate activities for each child.
  • Provided a broad variety of resources & materials in the school setting.
  • Periodic workshops provided on various related topics.
  • Group activities offered throughout the year.