Mentors

At-risk, young adults who have a mentor are twice as likely to enroll in college.

Mentors are as essential to our scholars as the financial assistance we provide. Each of our scholarship recipients are paired with a qualified mentor or within a mentor group to help the student stay on track, reach successive goals and navigate the complexities of college preparation.

 

Apply to become a mentor today!

Illinois New Jersey Delaware

Change a Life. Become a Mentor.

We are always looking for great candidates to support our scholars. Follow these steps to apply!

Complete our online application & background check
Attend mentor training sessions
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Meet your assigned high school mentee

Mentor Expectations

Give Back mentors are committed to inspiring our scholars by helping them dream big, set realistic goals, remain accountable and celebrate successes.

Contact your mentee on a regular basis

Listen actively and respond to your mentee’s needs

Give us monthly updates about your mentee

If you have questions about becoming a mentor please contact us.

Kevin O’Donnell

Sr. Director of Student Mentor Services

Expert Spotlight:

At Give Back, we are grateful to have a Sr. Director of Student Mentor Services who has over 20 years of experience working with students at the college level, from his time as a Campus Minister, Director of Young Adult and Youth Ministry, and even as a Professor at both Elmhurst College and Lewis University. Kevin O’Donnell has a degree in Social Work and Masters in Leadership Studies. He now shares his expertise with our staff, mentors and scholars. For ideas on how to be the best mentor you can, check out his latest blog post.

Mentor FAQs

What is the duration of the mentoring commitment?

We ask our mentors commit to at least 10 months of mentoring. However, the longer the relationship, the more beneficial to the scholar. Give Back will provide one-on-one mentoring to scholars throughout their high school years.

What are the qualifications to become a mentor?

– A sincere interest in developing a supportive, one-on-one relationship with a young person
– Open to learning different techniques and strategies for developing mentor relationships
– Willingness to communicate with youth openly and non-judgmentally
– Strong listening skills
– Willingness to establish relationships with youth based on equal respect
– Cultural competency when working with youth from different backgrounds than your own

Will transportation be provided?

Mentors will need to provide their own transportation to meetings with their mentee. Because Give Back serves the entire state, we will be providing transportation for students and mentors to certain programming events.

Will the foundation provide a stipend for events with my mentee?

The foundation will not provide a stipend for events. However, Give Back has a small budget to reimburse mentors for out-of-pocket expenses.

How often will I need to communicate with my mentee each month?

We ask that our mentors communicate with their mentees one hour a week. This might be by phone, text or video chat (i.e. Skype or Facetime) in addition to at least one meeting in person each month.

Will I be expected to meet in person with my mentee?

Yes, at least once a month for one hour.

Where are we expected to meet?

Mentors and mentees determine where to meet with the approval of the mentees’ parents/guardians.

How much time in a given week (during the school year) will I be expected to invest in my mentoring responsibilities?

In addition to communicating with your mentee each week, mentors are asked to check in with Give Back once a month. We will provide a check-in form to be completed online, by phone, or in person.

How will I be matched with my mentee?

Give Back carefully matches scholars with mentors based on common experiences, values, interests, and student preferences. Both scholars and mentors will complete a mentor-matching form to help determine good matches.

I’ve never been a mentor before, how will I know what to do?

Give Back will help you! Mentors are required to attend a 2-hour training session before meeting their mentees. Give Back will provide ongoing resources and support to mentors throughout the year.

What if my mentee and I don’t hit it off?

Our required 2-hour training session will provide you with the tools you need to best relate to and support your mentee. The Give Back staff will always be available to help the relationship if needed.

How many mentors will be chosen and paired with a student?

In 2016, we expect to have 80 scholars in New Jersey and 50 in Delaware. Each scholar will be matched with a one-on-one mentor.

What if a student’s parents/guardians do not want me to mentor their child?

Prior to acceptance to the Give Back scholarship program, all families are made aware of importance of mentoring to the success of their child. If a mentor comes across any issues at all, Give Back will support him or her.

Will mentors be reimbursed for expenses?

Give Back has a small budget to reimburse mentors for out-of-pocket expenses.

What do I do if I encounter a child whom I suspect is having serious difficulty at home?

It is important to make Give Back aware of any issues that are or you think may be occurring with your mentee – and let us know immediately so that we can find an early resolution.

Will there be a background check or fingerprinting that will need to take place in order to work with children?

All mentors will complete a form to allow us to complete a criminal background check.

Who is responsible for paying for the background check?

Give Back will cover the cost.

Will I have to arrange for the background check myself?

No, a background check is part of our mentor application.

What grade will the students be in?

Students are in the 9th grade.

Regarding academics, what are my responsibilities to the student? Will I be expected to tutor the student if necessary?

Academic tutoring is not the responsibility of a mentor. However, helping the scholar maintain a 3.0 average is. Any signs or indication of needed academic support should be reported to Give Back staff immediately. Give Back will provide academic support to any scholar in need.

What if I can no longer be a mentor or unexpected circumstances arise?

We hope this won’t happen! The key to a successful mentoring program is a dependable mentor. Before you commit to becoming a mentor, please be sure your schedule allows it. If a conflict does arise, please inform Give Back immediately so we can discuss options and make arrangements for the scholar.

Do I need to be a college graduate in order to be a mentor?

No. The goal of Give Back is to prepare our scholars for college, so a mentor should be prepared to support his or her scholar towards that goal. Give Back can provide a mentor who has not gone to college with any information needed.

Is this a paid opportunity?

No, being a mentor is a volunteer position — one that requires a firm commitment.

What types of activities should I do with my mentee?

Some examples of activities that have been successful with our mentors include: going for a walk after school, going to a sporting event together, shooting baskets, going out for lunch or ice cream, visiting a museum, teaching a mentee about your occupation, learning a new skill or doing a community service project together.

What’s next after I submit my online application?

Once we have your completed application and your background check, we will be in touch for an initial conversation and to schedule an in-person interview. Every mentor applicant will meet with a member of the Give Back staff before joining the program.

I have a friend/colleague who would like to be a mentor. Is it too late for s/he to apply?

No, it’s not too late. The application process for mentors is ongoing, as the number of scholars in the program will continue to grow each year. Mentors can apply anytime. Please give your friend the application link: giveback.ngo/mentors/

Mentors are supposed to help scholars choose their classes. Who should I talk to if I am not sure of the requirements?

A mentor can’t know everything! Scholars should be responsible for knowing that information and you can encourage your scholar to ask their guidance counselor if unsure. In addition, Give Back is in close contact with our scholars’ high schools so we can help you find the information.

How do I keep Give Back informed about my scholar?

We will provide you with an electronic check-in form to submit to us each month. If any issues arise, mentors should contact us right away by phone or email. In addition, Give Back will host mentor gatherings that will give you an opportunity to discuss your mentee.

Am I required to check in with Give Back immediately after I meet with my scholar?

No, but we do require a monthly check in form, which will ask for information about your contact with your mentee.