Orientation for YouthBuild Mentees

YouthBuild mentoring coordinators should begin each program year by providing an orientation to all of the 16- and 17-year-olds enrolled in the YouthBuild program. This orientation should be part of the standard YouthBuild enrollment process. The initial Mental Toughness training is an ideal time to present on the mentoring program, although you should recognize that students may express interest throughout the year.

The orientation should cover:

  • Why a young person would want a mentor (see sidebar for potential slogans and selling points).
  • How mentoring can enhance the YouthBuild experience (highlight increased social networking, access to more opportunities to learn and advance their careers, individualized help in reaching goals, and the fact that mentoring should last past graduation for extra mentee support).
  • When and where matches meet and what typical mentoring activities look like.
  • Mentee responsibilities for participation (frequency of meetings, duration of match, data-collection responsibilities, program rules of conduct).
  • The next steps in signing up for the mentoring program (permission forms, etc.).

After your mentoring program is well established, ask some past mentoring participants to help you refine your orientations to new YouthBuild students. Ask them, having been through the mentoring experience, what they think the main selling points should be.

Using the 'Ready for Mentoring' Guide

The Ready for Mentoring guide (PDF) is available to all YouthBuild mentoring programs for use in orienting students to the mentoring program and beyond. It provides:

  • Valuable information for young people that will help frame the mentoring experience
  • Self-assessment questions to get them thinking about how they might use a mentor
  • Tips for managing their own responsibilities in the relationship
  • Advice on approaching new mentors throughout life
  • Reflection activities and journaling exercises that they can turn to throughout the year