The YWCA Mentor Program
The YWCA's Mentor Program matches youth ages 10 to 25 with inspirational adult mentors who can guide them in developing better self-esteem, creating healthy relationships, and making positive life choices. Studies show that children who succeed despite enormous personal, economic or social obstacles often times do so because of the presence of committed and competent role models who believe in them.
Through the YWCA's Mentor Program, mentors and mentees meet in a supervised environment at a set time and location - a format which not only allows for the volunteer mentors to properly manage their busy schedules, but also provides the much needed consistency to the mentoring relationship. One-to-one simply refers to each mentor being matched with one mentee so that they can focus their full attention on one youth and build a trusting relationship. Though mentors are matched with one youth, they are almost always in the presence of other mentors and mentees. This provides an added support mechanism along with the option of rewarding group activities and presentations. All mentors are asked to commit to mentoring for one school year for at least 3 hours per month; although our hope is that mentors will continue working with their mentee for two or more years.
The YWCA Mentor Program is supported by program directors who help to build an environment that is comfortable for the mentoring matches along with providing activities, on-going support, and training to program participants. Program Directors ultimately act as safety nets and support systems to mentors to ensure the growth between mentor and mentee.
The YWCA's Mentor Program incorporates a number of initiatives that facilitate and guide mentors to focus on their mentee's individual needs. In addition, mentors also help their mentees with school work, play games that encourage socialization, provide guidance and advice, and simply listen to their mentee. Every mentee is different and therefore every mentoring relationship looks different, but the reward for both the mentee and mentor is undeniable.