Mentoring Activities and Program Requirements

How and where does the mentoring take place?

For the first three months of the program cycle, mentors and mentees meet for group mentoring sessions. This allows natural bonds to form and, ideally, helps solidify one-to-one matches. All one-to-one matches should be made by the end of this group mentoring period. Once participants are paired up, they meet for a minimum of four (4) hours per month (most commonly in weekly one-hour or biweekly two-hour sessions). The match should have other phone and e-mail contact over the course of a month, as needed.

Matches primarily meet away from the YouthBuild classrooms and worksites, although YouthBuild facilities can certainly be used for group activities, trainings, and matching ceremonies. If matches are meeting at the YouthBuild facility, programs are encouraged to provide them with a private space where the mentor and mentee can talk freely.

What do mentoring matches do together?

In general, YouthBuild mentoring activities fall into two broad categories:

  • YouthBuild Life Plan activities. Each mentee will create a YouthBuild Life Plan early in the program year (see the Mentoring Activities section for details about YouthBuild Life Plans, including available templates). While these plans provide structure and focus for the match, mentors should also recognize the role of fun activities and simply “hanging out” in building trust with mentees, especially early in the relationship.
  • Service activities. All YouthBuild mentoring matches will engage in service activities two-to-four times per year. If your program already provides service projects for all YouthBuild students, see if this requirement can be met by simply involving mentors in these projects.

Other group activities and community outings can also be planned by the coordinator to supplement the mentoring experience as needed.

What tasks do sites participating in the YouthBuild USA National Mentoring Alliance commit to?

Local YouthBuild programs participating in the National Mentoring Alliance agree to: