What is a Teen Mentor? The Teen Mentor Program provides a way to use the talents and skills of teens as role models and friends for younger children who need additional emotional support and adult attention at school. It’s also an opportunity for teens to have fun, make new friends, and provide a valuable service to their community.
What does a Teen Mentor do? A Teen Mentor volunteers to spend time with an elementary school child at least one hour each week during the school year. A Mentor Is:
A Helper who accepts the mentee as a unique individual and provides support in big and small ways to help the mentee accomplish their goals. They work together and have fun together. For example, a mentor and mentee may work on homework or hobbies, play games, take part in group activities with other mentors/mentees, or just talk.
A Positive Role Model in language, dress, and attitude. The mentor follows the elementary school’s policies for dress and language and shows respect for themselves, the mentee, and others.
An Active Member of the Teen Mentor Team. The Mentor communicates regularly with both High School and Elementary School coordinators.
Involved in Planning and participating in group activities.
As a mentor, you must follow these rules:
Have a strong interest in working with children
Have a positive attitude and values
Be Willing to be involved in the Teen Mentor Program for at least one school year
Be Able to keep appointments and follow through with other commitments
Maintain a 3.0 minimum G.P.A.
How much time do you need to commit?
Mentors are required to:
Attend a 2 hour training session
Schedule an initial meeting with the mentee’s classroom teacher to discuss expectations and schedule a convenient time to meet with your mentee
Spend at least one hour per week with the mentee during the school year
Attend at least one meeting per quarter with the program coordinator and other mentors to review progress, etc.
Make a time, as needed, to review progress with your mentee’s teacher
What are the basic requirements? Mentors must follow all established rules of the program. Failure to comply with these rules may result in dismissal from the program. Participation in any illegal activity will result in termination from the program. [Note: A Background check will be done as a part of the application process, depending on your school district’s policy regarding volunteer participation in school programs.] If you are involved in any disciplinary action, are expected to immediately discuss the situation with the High School Program Coordinator. The situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and could possibly result in termination from the program.
Other things you need to know... Background information about your mentee: Some information will be provided about your mentee’s interests, personality, family, etc., that can help get your first conversation started and give you some ideas for activities you might enjoy doing together. Behavior: You are expected to support the program’s high, clear and realistic expectations as a role model. Being a positive role model includes:
Arriving on time for scheduled meetings
Acting appropriately with the mentee
Using appropriate language
Calling when you cannot be there
Asking for adult help when necessary
Conveying a positive attitude toward school and learning
Communication: You are expected to communicate in a timely way with your mentee, program coordinators, and/or the mentee’s classroom teacher about schedule changes or any concerns you may have which may affect your relationship with the mentee or your ability to meet program requirements. Contact with mentees beyond normal school hours: Activities with your mentee are to be scheduled during normal classroom hours when the elementary school is in session or as part of an adult-supervised group outing sponsored by the Teen Mentor Program. You should not have contact with your mentee outside of school hours unless it is part of a Teen Mentor Program sponsored activity. Dress and grooming: Because mentees can be impressionable, it is important to dress appropriately and to be clean and neat. You will be expected to follow your mentee’s school’s dress requirements. The program Coordinator can give you more information about what’s acceptable. Matching mentors and mentees: Matches will be made based on interests, strengths, and needs. Mentee selection: Mentees are usually recommended by their classroom teacher. Often these children need a little extra attention to help them deal successfully with difficult life situations, such as a physical disability, medical problem, or a stressful home or school environment. Or they might have low self-esteem or poor social skills. Mentees are chosen because they can benefit from your companionship and emotional support. Teachers are requested not to recommend students who are “Behaviorally Challenged” and difficult to handle. Mentor selection: Prospective mentors must fill out an application form and write a cover letter. If you meet program requirements at that point, you will be interviewed by the program coordinator. Then, if your skills and interests match program needs, you will be invited to participate in a 2-hour training session. The final selection will be made following successful completion of the training. You will be notified at each step as to whether you will progress to the next phase of the selection process. Personal attributes which will be considered during the selection process include:
The ability to work as part of a team
Commitment and follow-through
Positive role modeling
Good listening skills
A positive attitude and values
Clean and neat appearance
Other qualities that may impact your ability to work effectively with younger children as a tutor, friend, and role model
Other information about you: Along with your application form, you must submit a cover letter, a completed parent permission/photo release form, and two teacher/counselor recommendations with your application. You will also need to complete an emergency medical form before the training. If you are selected as a mentor and you plan on driving, you must have a valid Washington State driver’s license and complete a driver/rider form including parent permission. If you are riding with another mentor they must have a written parent permission to transport you, and you must have written parent permission to ride with the other mentor. This permission is included on the Drive/Request to ride form. Parent involvement: Mentors will have the opportunity to interact with their mentee’s family at structured and supervised events. Parents or Guardians of mentors are NOT allowed to participate in program while Mentee is present. Parents or Guardians of mentors will be invited to attend an end of school year awards ceremony only if Teen Mentor has agreed to their attendance. Priorities: Living up to your commitment as a mentor must be your first priority when it is necessary to make a choice between seeing our mentee and doing something else. Scheduling changes should be made only in emergency situations. In addition, your mentee should receive your full attention when you are together. Special needs: Every effort will be made to accommodate teen mentors with disabilities or other special needs. Training: A 2-hour training is held at Youth and Family Link with food provided. Adult supervision is present at all times. If you miss the training, you cannot start as a mentor until you have completed that training. Returning mentors are also expected to attend training.
Transportation: You are expected to arrange for your own transportation to the mentee’s school and all program events and activities. You will also need to submit a reliable transportation plan and related permission forms to the Program Coordinator as part of the selection process. What makes a good mentor?
Uses good judgement
Demonstrates a high level of commitment and follow-through
Has a sense of humor
Likes to have fun in healthy ways
Has good listening and problem-solving skills
Is caring and sensitive to other's needs
Takes responsibility for his or her own action as well as the mentee’s well-being
Works as part of a team
Conveys a positive attitude
Demonstrates through example that school, learning, and goal setting are important and valuable
Is invested in helping the mentee succeed in school and life
Understands that the mentors-mentee relationship is different from other friendships (e.g.: the mentor provides support to the mentee and does not burden the mentee with their own personal problems or issues)
Cover Letter Instructions
Please be sure to include:
Contact Details (phone and e-mail)
Opening (What you're applying for & where you heard about it)