The Mentoring Project is a one-to-one encouragement program for young people (currently serving ages 10-18) who reside in the Upper Valley of Vermont. It is available to all youth who wish to have a mentor, and especially beneficial to kids who are experiencing academic or social challenges. Mentors and their mentees can explore career and education options, share a common interest or hobby, or focus on a particular project or goal like learning photography or running a 10K race.
Who can volunteer?
You can! Any adult aged 21 or over who has some energy and enthusiasm for working with youth may apply. No special skills are required — only 5 hours a month and a growth mindset. We have volunteers of all ages that come from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. If you are in good health, enjoy being active, and are willing to share your time with a young person — we want to hear from you!
What is the time commitment of a mentor?
A mentor spends five hours a month with their mentee during non-school hours for one year (running through the summer). All mentors must pass a background check and complete a training session, attend at least two trainings per year, and submit brief monthly notes in support of the grant funding that makes our program possible. We work to balance the real-life needs of our volunteers with what it takes to develop a meaningful mentoring bond. We appreciate you!
How old are the mentees?
The youth who participate in our program are approximately 10 – 18 years old.
What are their backgrounds?
Our program is friendship-based and is not designed as a form of intervention for serious individual or family problems. The mentees are not experiencing any significant emotional or behavioral difficulties. Some mentees learn about the program from their school guidance counselor, friends, siblings, or general advertising in the community.
What do they like to do?
Some mentees just need someone to talk to other than their friends or parents. Some mentees like to be active outdoors, do crafts, or play board games. Some mentees want advice and guidance on career/education options. We’ll make every effort to match mentors and mentees based on common interests and complementary personalities. We work to provide a solid foundation for each “match” and let it grow from there!
Do the program organizers stay involved once a match is made?
Yes! We provide on-going support and monitoring. The program director is available to help with any questions or concerns that come up. Regular phone & internet-based contact to provide support to both mentors and mentees is an expectation of the program. There are also many opportunities for mentor workshops and group activities throughout the year.