Mentoring FAQ



Who can be a mentor?
You can be a mentor if you have a genuine interest in youth, good listening skills, and patience! Because our program is a long-term program, mentors must be community residents who expect to stay in the community for at least the next 2-3 years.

What do mentors do?

Mentors visit with their "mentee" for approximately one hour per week during the school day, on the school grounds, during the school year. Mentors and mentees usually spend their time together doing fun and creative activities: talking/listening, playing games, doing something physical like going for a walk on


school grounds or playing basketball, reading, exploring on the computer, doing experiments, doing art/craft projects and more. Mentors' goal is to build a relationship of trust with their mentee.

What kinds of students are selected to be mentees?
We like to talk about our students as being "on the brink of success." They are students who just need a little extra support and encouragement to thrive. They may be under-achieving, have poor peer relationships, have attendance issues, or exhibit in other ways the need for a caring adult in their lives. Students may be referred by a parent, teachers, counselor or they may request a mentor themself. Students selected are in late elementary (3rd-5th grade) or early middle school (6th or 7th grade).

What do students like about having a mentor?
The most frequent response students give to this question is: "Because we have fun!" Additionally, students say they like having someone who listens to them, who doesn't judge them and believes in them.

What do current mentors like about being a mentor?
Mentors report that it's fun! They enjoy the break in their day and the relationship that is formed with their mentee. In addition, mentors say that being a mentor helps them feel good about themselves for giving back to the community. Mentors who are parents report that it helps them be a better parent. Additionally, there are documented health benefits of this kind of volunteering. A Review of Recent Research has found a significant connection between volunteering and good health. The report shows that volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease.


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Is mentoring going on during March?

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) there will be no
mentoring until May 4 at the earliest.


What constitutes appropriate boundaries, and how do I establish them?  

Some boundaries are clearly spelled out - school-based program, one hour a week, no friends, etc.  Other boundaries will emerge and evolve as the relationship unfolds. It is your responsibility to define and observe appropriate boundaries, even when your mentee is "testing" boundaries.  Your mentee may see if you can visit them over the summer.  This is a school-based program, so you can't.  (Remember, some of these boundaries evolve and change as your mentee gets older.)  If your mentee comes from a disorganized or stressful family situation where the family cannot address all of your mentee's needs, it can be difficult to remember that your role is not to "fix your mentee's life." It can be particularly challenging to avoid doing anything that would undermine or supplant the role of your mentee's family, even though their circumstances and behavior may concern you.​  If you are seeing things that worry you, talk to your school coordinator. Your coordinator can look into the situation and take action if needed.  If you are unclear on  other boundaries, check with your school coordinator.