Frequently Asked Questions

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WHAT IS THE MENTOR PROGRAM?

The Mentor Program is an arrangement whereby adult and/or peer Mentors establish strong and sincere relationships, usually on a one-to-one basis. Children in our program range from ages 9 to 18. The purpose of this program is to improve academic achievement and instill a dedication to education while developing a positive self-image through education, culture, history, and community service.


HOW DO I BECOME A MENTOR?

There are a few steps in becoming a Project UPLIFT Mentor.
• Complete an adult or peer mentor application.
• Present references from three responsible adults.
• Complete an interview with a Project UPLIFT Director
• Upon initial approval, complete a Live Scan application for fingerprinting.
• Submit a TB skin test that is no more than two years old.
• Complete a driving record and criminal history check, if applicable.
• Attend a ten-hour orientation and monthly follow-up training.
• Begin small group mentoring.


HOW DOES PROJECT UPLIFT FIND THE CHILDREN WHO NEED MENTORS?

Children are referred to us by schools, parents, and various social service agencies with parental permission; they participate in the program voluntarily. Mentors are matched and introduced to children after the training and interview sessions. The volunteers’ preferences, experiences, and skills are considered and respected in making the match.

WHO CAN BE A MENTOR WITH PROJECT UPLIFT?

Any interested and sincere person who is at least 18 who can meet and agree to do the minimum obligations. Peer Mentors must be 16 or a sophomore in high school.

WHAT ARE MY OBLIGATIONS AS A MENTOR?

• Own a car that is covered with liability insurance and have a good driving record.
• Attend the training program, which is designed to prepare you for the Mentor experience.
• Spend at least one year in the program, averaging three hours per week.
* We require students under 21 to get written parental permission before volunteering.

HOW MUCH TIME AM I REQUIRED TO SPEND WITH MY YOUTH?

Research has shown that the duration or length of a mentoring relationship is a very important indicator of positive outcomes for mentees. At a minimum, Mentors and mentees should meet regularly no less than four hours per month for at least 12 months. There are exceptions to this requirement; school-based mentoring, for example, coincides with the school year. Whatever the circumstances, mentees should understand from the beginning how long their relationship will last, so they can adjust their expectations accordingly. More time spent = higher success.

WHAT AM I TO DO WITH MY YOUTH?

Help with their homework and instill good study skills. You can bowl, swim, fish, go to the movies or the park, ride bicycles, or just sit around and talk. We encourage you to be creative and have fun! The training sessions will give you many ideas. We also offer free and discounted activities and tickets.


WHO AM I RESPONSIBLE TO AS A MENTOR?

You are immediately responsible to the program’s director.

WHAT IF PROBLEMS ARISE BETWEEN MY YOUTH AND MYSELF?

The Mentor director is available to you if a problem should arise. Many potentially “touchy” situations will be discussed during training with several guidelines and suggestions given to assist you in your relationship. The Project UPLIFT staff views its relationship with the Mentors as a team effort. Open communication is essential to effectively helping our youth.

IS THERE A POSSIBILITY I WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS A MENTOR?
Although the training program comes prior to the interview, some people are unable to meet the obligations because of personal problems, a schedule or work overload, family situations, or emotional difficulty. The interview consists of questions that are relevant only to the Mentor program. Our youth need dependable, accepting, positive adult or peer figures. If you believe you are such an adult, we need you.

MENTORS ARE...

• …A FRIEND. Like peer friendships, Mentors and mentees do things together that are fun and engaging. They support each other both in good times and in tough times. They teach each other. They help each other.
• …A ROLE MODEL. You are expected to set a good example to the mentee for how to live your life. This is not the same as being perfect. Rather, it is about acknowledging your imperfections and sharing your strengths.
• …A CONFIDANT. Building a close relationship with your mentee will help him/her build better relationships with others in him/her life as well, such as parents and peers. In the process, your mentee may tell you things he/she does not feel comfortable telling anyone else.
• …A NURTURER OF POSSIBILITIES. Your role is to see the gifts and strengths of your mentee and help him/her flourish personally.

MENTORS ARE NOT...

• Mentors should NOT attempt to personally handle complex problems concerning financial aid, emotional or psychological adjustment, physical health, personal counseling, or any situation for which they are not qualified. Guidelines for referral will be provided.
• A mentor is NOT a parent.
• A mentor is NOT a professional counselor.
• A mentor is NOT a social worker.
• A mentor in NOT a financier.
• A mentor should NOT:

 

1.

break promises

 

2.

condone negative behavior

 

3.

be condescending

 

4.

force the mentee to participate in any activity (socially or academically)

 

5.

break confidentiality (except in the case of potential harm to the mentee or others