The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about Mentoring. If you have any additional questions about Mentoring, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 415-789-1007.
At CMF, mentoring is defined as a relationship over a prolonged period between one or more people where older, wiser, more experienced individuals assist youth by providing constant support, guidance, advice, friendship, and reinforcement to insure healthy youth development.
A mentor is someone who, along with parents, provides a young person with support, guidance, counsel, friendship, and reinforcement, and acts as a positive role model. A mentor is a wise and trusted friend. A mentor is someone who cares, is reliable, and holds aspirations for the mentee. A mentor is also someone who holds a mentee accountable for his/her actions. A mentor is someone who can help you get to where you want to go.
Young people in our society need positive, successful adult role models. They need guidance in setting and achieving goals and positive reinforcement from someone they trust and admire. A relationship works in two ways, and helping a young person grow and succeed is the greatest source of satisfaction.
Mentoring works better than other youth development and preventive services because it tailors itself to the needs of a particular child instead of combating problems of all youth today with a single program or slogan. A mentor holds aspirations, provides friendship, and supports positive youth development “one child at a time.” In 1998 and 1999, CMF conducted the two largest surveys ever completed in 1998 and 1999 on the benefits of mentoring. The results show 98% of the youth matched with mentors stayed in school, 85% did not use drugs, 98% did not become a teen parent and 98% did not get involved in a gang.
Time devoted to mentoring is a very important issue. You must realistically assess how much time you have in a day, week, and year to devote to your mentee. Each mentee is going to have different needs and expectations, so be sure to do your research to select a mentor program that works with what your volunteer expectations are. Once you commit to your mentorship, your mentee is counting on you as a trusted friend that will be there when you have committed. If you are nervous about committing the time, start out with a short-term project to get your feet wet. A lot of programs ask for a year commitment, but there are shorter projects available as well. It doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment. Sometimes a little help goes a LONG way.