How to Start a Youth Mentoring Program

I have witnessed several different kinds of youth mentoring programs begin their starts. Unfortunately, starting a youth mentoring program is one of the most difficult things  a person can do. There are many different factors to consider including but not limited to: finding youth to mentor as well as gaining parental approval, finding suitable youth mentors, considering events and promoting your youth mentoring program. 

In this article I’d like to focus mostly on the finding youth to mentor, gaining parental approval, finding suitable youth mentors and considering events. To learn more about promoting your youth mentoring program, go ahead and search on Helium or the world wide web to find more information. Promotion is a lengthy topic and can take a long time to be dealt with correctly. 

For our first topics, “finding youth to mentor” and “gaining parental approval”, I’m going to ask who you are and/or who you are starting this youth mentoring program with. If you are affiliated with a school or a nationally-recognized after school program such as Girl Scouts or the YMCA this is going to be much easier for you. Parents will be more likely to sign up release/liability forms for their children which you will need as long as the participant is under eighteen years of age. What you need to do is find youth to mentor. Set age limits and/or age restrictions. Then visit local schools to share your program and appeal to youth. The best way to gain parental approval is to get a school to back you or to simply promote yourself in an overly professional way. It may also help, in your appealing to parents, to detail the many benefits of youth mentoring.

Now, once you’ve found students and have been able to gather their parents approval, you need to consider what events you’ll be doing. You can create large-scale events that involve all of the mentors and their mentorees such as ice cream socials or craft projects or even sporting opportunities such as watching a professional sports game, etc. It all depends on how much money you can support and how much you need for the mentors & mentorees. This is why you should do a variety of fund-raising so you can hold entire program events at least once a year or hopefully two to four times a year. Otherwise, the events can be very small and just focused on the mentor and his or her youth mentoree. The mentor and mentoree can decide on what to do with each other. 

I hope that this article has been informative and has been able to get you thinking about how you might start your own youth mentoring program. It is a very rewarding process and one that I am sure anyone with any size of a heart will enjoy.