What’s Involved

Why Mentoring?

Young people have a sense that there’s not much future in Vermont. Parents may not be home or may be distracted by their own problems. Heroin is increasingly available and cheap. Jobs, infrastructure and access to the Internet are scarce. These, combined with peer pressure, creates a huge drug problem and loss of talent.

Your job and life experience can help. You, as a mentor, are agreeing to let a mentee between ages 10 to 26 call you for 20 minute conversation and ask questions about jobs, schools, places you’ve lived, how you got accepted, etc., so they can learn about future options for their lives and careers. Your participation may help them find things they can do, places they can live, and ways to get there. Our theme is to: Imagine Your Life, we want to introduce youth to a wider world full of unrealized possibilities.

You have no obligation other than that one 20 minute phone call with a mentee. However, if you do have the time and think it’s worthwhile, you can always volunteer for more.  At the end of that first call, just fill in a short questionnaire and indicate if you want to: stop at that, do more, or give us feedback/suggestions for the program or for the youth involved.

Mentees may ask you about anything including your jobs, how you landed them, how you decided to do that job and not another, did you like the job, what would you have done differently, did it pay well, what was a place, a town, or city you particularly liked, what was your school or college like, was math important, have you ever been in trouble, what did you learn from that, what skills are needed in your job, etc.

If you don’t like or can't answer a particular question, simply say “next question” and that’s that. The mentees have been told that is a cue and to respect it.

Maybe the mentee will make enough of an impression on you that you will be willing to talk again or lend a hand in some other way. If so, great, and the youth will be given the option to arrange it through the service. If it’s personal involvement (such as letting the mentee come watch you at work for example) you can email us through this site and we’ll arrange a chaperone and parental note of permission.

Thanks for considering this. We will be showing a digest of mentor skills and offerings on this site to inspire the youth to call and begin a journey along a different path. This list will be provided to guidance counselors and similar positions. Just seeing your schools, jobs, and locations may inspire someone.

A Successful Mentor

The benefits of mentoring go both ways!
Adult mentors often report that their mentoring experiences improved their lives in tangible ways. Not only do they feel better about themselves for playing a positive role in a youth's life, but they also find that mentoring teaches them more about themselves. Mentoring increases their sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and lays the foundation for better morale at work and better relationships with family, friends and coworkers.

If you score high on most of the following personal qualities you should be successful mentoring: Caring, a Good Listener, Stable, can Provide Leadership, Reliable (e.g., show up on time), Committed, Nonjudgmental, Discreet (will keep information confidential), Patient, Like Children, nave a good sense of Humor, Tolerant, Outstanding Employment record and will Not attempt to replace Parent/Guardian.

Maybe you, yourself, have experienced difficulties and overcome these in a way you can pass on as guidance to others. Financial issues, foreclosure, substance abuse, trouble with the law (within reason). These are a fact of life and having a 'history' does not mean you are automatically disqualified from mentoring.

Youth will decide voluntarily to participate in this program. Not all youth can benefit from mentoring, so it’s imperative we recruit mentors from a wide and diverse set of skills and backgrounds to increase the likelihood that a mentee will find a match to his/her needs. The theme of our program is to "Imagine Your Future" as a way to encourage youth to explore possibilities otherwise not known to them. Thus any constructive experience you bring to the table is possibility transformational to a youth otherwise stuck in a hopeless situation.