Preparing Mentees for Matching

Follow these steps to get interested students into the mentoring program and ready to be matched:

  1. Collect completed youth applications (you may want to use a truncated, mentoring-specific application that collects any data you do not already have).
  2. Have a one-on-one interview with each young person to assess their level of readiness to participate in a match.
  3. Ask if the student already has a specific mentor in mind. If he or she does, that can save time and effort on recruitment and builds on the youth’s own preferences and choice. Some students might have a former teacher, coach, minister, or other adult who has been supportive and might be happy to become an official mentor. If not, find out what qualities they are seeking in a mentor and what goals they have that a mentor might help them with.
  4. Provide any needed pre-match training. Many of the mentor training activities found in the Training YouthBuild Mentors guide (PDF) can be adapted for use with students. Content from the Ready for Mentoring guide (PDF) can also be adapted for this purpose. Pre-match training can further enhance their readiness for the match, provide icebreakers for early match meetings, and help them develop skills that they can use as they start building trust in the relationship. Role plays are an especially good way to get students to see themselves in the mentee role.
  5. Administer pre-match assessment and evaluation instruments. See Data Collection and Reporting for details about which instruments to use.
  6. Explain the next steps in the matching process. It can take some time to find the right match for a student, so let them know what the process looks like and how long it might take (see Matching Volunteers and Students for details). Be sure to explain that the group mentoring time at the beginning of the program cycle provides three months to get to know this batch of mentors and find the right fit. Encourage students to take this group time seriously and focus on getting to know the volunteers to help the matching process.