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Be a Mentor

One Youth – One Adult: One-to-One Mentoring

Consider what young people are facing today — an uncertain world, racial unrest, social isolation, fear, and the challenges of everyday life. Kids need our support now more than ever. A mentor is another caring adult in a child’s life to provide friendship, support, and encouragement.

“If a child is to keep alive their inborn sense of wonder, they need the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with them the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” Rachel Carson

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Mentoring Changes Lives

You can be that caring companion who supports the potential that lives in every child. By simply being present, listening to their stories, supporting them through challenges, and encouraging their dreams you help them find joy. Every young person deserves that companion. Community-based mentoring matches spend time together in the community doing activities you both enjoy — riding bikes, doing arts and crafts, playing board games, or simply hanging out. Each match develops and cultivates a unique relationship that empowers mentees to navigate life’s challenges and celebrate personal successes. Youth enrolled in our school-based mentoring program receive the same life-changing benefits, but instead of meeting in the community, matches meet at school during the youth’s lunch period throughout the school year. Matches are supported by a school-site coordinator.

Explore our youth mentoring volunteer opportunities to find the right fit for your unique strengths and schedule.

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Community-Based Mentor Requirements

Adult (mentor) are matched with a 6-14 year old youth (mentee) to provide support, encouragement, and friendship. Matches spend time together in the community doing activities they both enjoy on a schedule that works best for them.

Volunteers must:
• Be 18+ years old
• Have access to a car with insurance
• Meet once a week for 2-3 hours
• Commit to a minimum of 9 months
• Pass background check
• Complete Mentor Training
• Maintain required monthly communication with staff
• Sharing in the cost of outings

More about Community-Based Mentoring

School-Based Mentor Requirements

This opportunity pairs adults (mentor) with 5-16 year old students (mentee) for lunch or other school activities once a week. For students, you are an adult who will listen without judging and take a genuine interest in their lives. A limited number of Pen Pal Mentors who exchange letters monthly throughout the academic year are also available.

Volunteers must: 
• Be 18+ years old 
• Meet once a week for 1 hour (lunch at school) 
• Commit to meeting throughout the academic year 
• Pass background check 
• Complete Mentor Training 
• Maintain required monthly communication with staff

Community-Based Mentoring Application Process

  • Submit a completed application online or in our office. 
  • An in-person meeting with program staff will be scheduled. Bring your driver’s license, car insurance card, and license plate number; a criminal background and DMV check are required. 
  • Additionally, two separate interviews will be conducted as part of the application process. 

Our program director makes all final decisions for mentor applicants. If accepted, you will be trained and matched with a youth. This entire process may take from 3-5 weeks. 

Apply to be a Community-Based Mentor

School-Based Mentoring Application Process

  • Submit a completed application online or in our office. 
  • An in-person meeting with program staff will be scheduled to conduct an interview and training. A criminal background check is required.  

Our program director makes all final decisions for mentor applicants. If accepted, the school site coordinator takes the application/information, and gets you matched with a student. This entire process will take about 2 weeks. 

Apply to be a School-Based Mentor

Once you have completed your application, you can drop it off at the YMCA front desk or email it to Allison Braswell at [email protected]

Mentor FAQ

Child safety is our priority. We have rigorous child protection policies and procedures in place to keep kids safe. Our staff and volunteer mentors undergo thorough screening and background checks. Our safety commitment is simple: we do everything possible to keep children safe. 

Research shows that consistent mentoring is most impactful. The Brother/Sister Mentoring Program expects matches to spend a minimum of two to three hours per week for at least nine months during their mentoring relationship. School-based mentors can expect to spend one hour a week with their mentee. We understand, though, that sometimes a mentor and mentee may need to miss a week or adjust the schedule. Like all friendships, good planning and communication are key to strong mentoring relationships.

Communicate with your mentee/family and your Brother/Sister Program Advocate if you will be unavailable to meet for more than a week. If you will be gone for several weeks over the summer, your Brother/Sister Program Advocate can help you with options for keeping your commitment. Occasionally, we will move mentoring relationships to an “on hold” status. Always communicate, and we will find a solution.

School-based mentors should inform their School Site Coordinator of any absences. 

Community-Based Mentors are provided with contact information to their mentee’s parenting adult(s). You will schedule your match meetings directly with your mentee’s parenting adult. Your Brother/Sister Program Advocate will support you and your mentoring match throughout the relationship, celebrating your success and finding solutions to challenges as well.

Yes, mentors and mentees are able to schedule a time that works best for all parties and the mentee’s parenting adult. Many matches find that creating a regular meeting day/time each week helps everyone stay on track. 

For School-Based mentoring, schedules are set with School Site Coordinators and are generally for the same day and time each week for the school-year. 

The Brother/Sister Program supports your match in a variety of ways, including optional free or low cost monthly activities. Our local businesses and organizations support the program with an activities card that includes free and discounted opportunities. Additionally, our newsletter and social media alerts you to free and low-cost crafts, games and other activities hosted throughout the community. Ultimately, how your time spent together is up to the mentor and mentee/family.

School-Based Mentors meet with their youth for lunch or other school activities. Time spent together could also include playing games, doing crafts or simple conversations about how things are going.

Contact The Mentor Office For More Information