“I feel like I’ve gotten more out of it than she has. I get a second chance to help a child like I had done with my own children several years ago. Baking brought us close together and I was glad we were able to laugh at ourselves. I loved being able to put a smile on her face.” Past Mentor
What is a mentor?
A mentor is a trusted friend, a counselor, a role model, a coach. Someone who listens to you, believes in you, and encourages you along the way. Those are the qualities of an effective mentor.
We pair the mentee and mentor together based on similar interests and personalities. Mentors are background screened, interviewed, and receive initial and ongoing training by the Club M program staff. The mentor, parents, and Club M staff work together to provide a positive experience for the mentee.
Who are the mentors?
The mentors are volunteers who are at least three years older than the mentee/youth. We accept Peer Mentors (high school youth who mentor elementary aged youth), local college mentors, and adult volunteers. No matter the age of the mentor, everyone completes an application to volunteer with our program. The volunteer and potential mentor is background screened, interviewed by Club M Program Staff, participates in an initial training, and agrees to a school year commitment to participate with our program and the youth with whom they are matched.
What does the background screening consist of?
The background screening contains county, state, and federal criminal history (if over the age of 18) along with sexual and child abuse registries. If the volunteer mentor will be driving with a youth, their driver’s record is also checked and car insurance is confirmed. The Program Staff contacts at least two personal references and, if the mentor is a Peer Mentor, the youth’s school is contacted to confirm the potential mentor is an appropriate role model for our program mentees. Social Media sites are also searched to learn of any public content that may be available about the potential volunteer.
What does the initial mentor training consist of?
Training is conducted that includes topics that prepare a volunteer to mentor a youth. The initial training covers topics such as the Role of a Mentor, Building Developmental Relationships, Fostering Youth’s Resilience, Communication Strategies, Managing Difficult Situations or Behaviors, and Activity Planning. Program Staff also present information on safe meeting places, keeping children safe while in your care, program policies, and provide the mentors with resources that can support their mentoring match and relationship.
What if I have questions during my mentoring relationship?
Program Staff is available to answer all of a volunteer or a parent’s questions throughout the length of the mentoring match. The Club M Program Staff are trained in the field of Youth Development and have years of experience in working with youth and in the mentoring field. Mentors are required to complete a monthly Mentor Report Log that is sent to program staff informing staff about the relationship, what activities they are doing together, and if the mentor requires additional support or training.
If you are interested in becoming a Club M Mentor drop by Cassie Gerst’s office at the Burlington High School or one of the links below to obtain an application: