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Become a Mentor!

Mentoring has the power to change lives. By being there for someone, listening to dreams, and validating them, you can make a significant difference. Studies show that mentoring impacts children and youth by helping them...

  • Become interested in learning
  • Prevent or delay alcohol and drug use
  • Improve classroom attendance
  • Avoid problems with violence
  • Increase scholastic ability and performance
  • Decrease adolescent violence
  • Choose healthy lifestyles
  • Build better relationships with parents
  • Prevent teen parenthood
  • Hope for the future
  • Learn appropriate social skills

What Makes a Good Mentor?

At the heart of positive mentoring effects is the development of a strong relationship between mentor and youth (Grossman and Johnson, 1999). Mentors are teens and adults who
  • are good listeners
  • are tolerant and non-judgmental
  • are reliable and consistent
  • possess good communication skills (or are willing to learn)
  • comply with program policies and procedures
  • have a good sense of humor
  • like children and youth

How Do I Become a Mentor?
Think about the time commitment you are ready to make and research programs in your area using our county pages below. Contact program staff for more information, including answers to these questions:
  • What are the issues or circumstances facing the young people in the program?
  • What is the time commitment and where and when does the mentoring take place?
  • What kind of training and support is offered?
  • How does the program operate?
  • How are volunteers matched and how long is the application process?
  • How is the program evaluated?
If you live outside of the Bay Area, visit to search the MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership's database of organizations throughout the country.

What is Mentoring?
A mentor literally means "a wise and trusted friend." But to a youth, it can mean much, much more. Most people have had someone who took the time to explain how things worked, showed us the ropes, or gave us the confidence we needed.
  • Adults and teens helping children and youth succeed by volunteering as positive role models
  • "'Mentoring' describes a relationship between an older, more experienced adult and an unrelated, younger protégé or mentee, characterized by on-going guidance, instruction, and encouragement provided by the adult and aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee." (Rhodes, 2002)
  • A comprehensive screening, training, and monitoring process through a formal program with successful evaluated outcomes

Mentee Benefits
Research consistently shows that introducing a volunteer mentor into a young person’s life for a one-to-one relationship can greatly enhance his or her prospects for leading a healthy and productive life.
  • “Successful mentoring has been shown to have a positive effect on some forms of delinquent behavior, including skipping school and skipping class, initiating alcohol and drug use, and getting in physical fights.” (Bauldry, 2006)
  • Young people also improve their self-confidence, improve their attitudes, increase their interest in school, and improve their relationships with peers and parents

Mentor Benefits
Adult volunteers report their mentoring experiences have improved their lives in tangible ways: they feel better about themselves for playing a positive role in a child’s life, learn more about themselves, increase their sense of responsibility and accomplishment, increase morale at work, and report better relationships in all areas. (Mentor Consulting Group, 2000)
  • Improved understanding of schools
  • Fresh perspective on life
  • Return to work happier
  • 100% agreed that small social programs can make a difference

Program Listings

Click on each county button link above to find mentoring programs in your area. Contact programs directly for questions or to inquire about volunteering. We encourage you to research each program thoroughly. Bay Area Mentoring neither endorses nor certifies the programs listed.
Being a mentor is a rewarding experience -- start today!


Type of program
Community-based means mentors and mentees meet on their own time out in the community
School-based and site-based indicate that mentors and mentees meet primarily or exclusively at a particular site and at a particular time.

Focus of Program
Relationship means that programs focus on building relationships between youth and volunteers.
Tutoring/academic means that the program is academically focused.

Mentoring ratio
Group mentoring means that one mentor meets with a group of mentees or youth.
Team mentoring means that one or more mentor(s) meet with a group of youth.
1:1 means that one mentor meets with one mentee.

Time Commitment/Length of Commitment
We encourage prospective mentors to think about what kind of time commitment they are ready to make. Choose a program whose time commitment you are comfortable with. At the same time, remember that longer mentoring relationships can make longer-term impacts!

If you live outside of the Bay Area, visit to search the MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership's database of organizations throughout the country