There are four main WAY Alliance volunteer positions that we call the Big 4. These four positions are vital in helping us accomplish our mission to serve youth aging out of foster care.
The Big 4 volunteer positions are the:
We call these positions the Big 4 because they make up the core of our program. Each of these positions has ongoing responsibilities, and each volunteer position is connected—or matched—to a specific youth in our program.
You can click on the links above to read about the other volunteer positions, but in this post, we’ll talk about the mentor.
A WAY Alliance mentor meets one-on-one with their matched youth on a regular basis to set goals, offer guidance, and develop a relationship. The mentor’s responsibilities include the following:
- A mentor meets with their youth for at least eight hours a month, which can be spread over two or three match meetings per month. The mentor is responsible for setting up those match meetings with their youth as well as transporting them to and from the match meetings. The focus of these meetings is to cultivate the mentor’s relationship with their mentee, so activities should reflect that goal. This means that doing activities that don’t allow for talking may not be ideal—such as watching a movie together in a theater. That doesn’t mean that going to see a movie isn’t an appropriate match activity, but it does mean that it should probably not be the only thing they ever do together. Scheduling activities that allow the mentor and mentee to talk is important.
- Mentors submit activity reports online for each of their match meetings. These are short reports that only take a minute or two to complete and include information such as duration and location of the match meeting as well as a short note about the activities they did. This information is especially important for WAY Alliance’s ongoing assessment of the match relationship as well as for grant applications and program evaluations.
- Mentors check in with their Match Coordinator regularly. The mentor’s Match Coordinator (MC) will connect with the mentor by phone or video chat twice a month during the first three months of the match and monthly after that. During these check-ins, the Match Coordinator will ask the mentor specific questions about the match relationship (pretty much the same questions each time) and will also ask them about any information the mentor wants relayed to the youth’s Small Group. The Match Coordinator will also let the mentor know about any upcoming events or activities sponsored by WAY Alliance. This is also the mentor’s opportunity to ask any questions or express any concerns about the match relationship.
Mentors will receive online and in-person training to prepare them for their role.