The power of mentoring unlocks a life our teens never dreamed possible.
Our work is never done in isolation. But many of the youth we serve experience isolation in their schools and homes. Not having someone to connect with and talk to leads to feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.
Relationships with caring adults are critical, and a parent and a mentor have very different functions in a teen’s life — that's why we launched our L.I.F.E. Mentoring Program, a year-long formal mentoring relationship for our teens (aged 13-18) and caring adults in the community. These relationships are matched with input from the teen, the teen's family, and the potential mentor.
These mentor-mentee pairs participate in community service projects, visit cultural events, and experience fun new things together.
Our mentoring program is built on a foundation of L.I.F.E.
Our L.I.F.E Mentoring Program is based on four core values: leadership, inspiration, fostering growth, and empowerment.
Lead: Sometimes, teens don't know their potential or what they're capable of. A mentor’s job includes helping teens develop the leader within themselves and discover their ability to take ownership of their lives and futures.
Inspire: Too many of our teens are affected by gangs, violence, and relationships that reinforce negative cycles. When they connect with someone from outside their context who cares about them, listens to them, and supports them, they begin to see that there's more to life than what they've known.
Foster: All of this is a process. It's about growing together. A mentoring relationship, like any other, deepens over time. Fostering is for the long haul. That's what makes these relationships work: a commitment to a year, and many of the matches continue even longer.
Empower: A mentoring relationship can uplift a teen so dramatically that they begin to see that they are important — that they matter. Once personal strength begins to emerge and develop, it can never be taken away..
The APCH L.I.F.E. Mentoring Program prepares mentees for real life and to become contributing members of our community.
L.I.F.E. Mentoring is a two-way street
The impact of our L.I.F.E. Mentoring Program isn't just in the lives of our teens. Mentors also experience transformation.
Kimberly, our L.I.F.E. Mentoring Program Coordinator, shares:
"It's a two-way street. I want mentors who volunteer to know they're going to be impacted as well. The majority of the feedback I hear from mentors is that the whole experience is rewarding for them. We've had relationships last four years, some even six years. The relationship may take some time to get going. But once it does, it blossoms into something special for the teen and the mentor. Everyone just needs to try it out for themselves."
Want to experience what our L.I.F.E Mentoring Program is really like? Sign up here and let’s talk!