Thank you for your interest in the True Colors Mentoring Program! The following information will help you decide if you and our program are right for each other!
What the True Colors Mentoring Program is:
The True Colors One-on-One mentoring program can best be summed up as "the LGBT Big Brothers/Big Sisters”. One-on-One Mentors meet with youth individually as well as in group activities such as game night, movie night, hiking trips, beach days, etc.
One of the main and most important functions of our group mentors is to provide transportation to and from events for youth on our waiting list. While this may not seem like a very important duty, our group mentors are often one of the first adult LGBT people that our youth come in contact with! During those car rides, YOU set the stage for how this young person sees our community.
Who are our Youth?
The majority of our youth come from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), however, we are beginning to see more referrals from families that have gay children and are looking for healthy outlets. There is no "typical" True Colors mentee, our kids come from such varied experiences that to try to create a composite kid would be unrealistic. Some have mental health diagnoses, some come from abusive backgrounds, some come from very supportive backgrounds and some just need guidance. They ALL need supportive adults and opportunities to socialize with their peers.
How do I get started as a mentor?
(Note: You must be at least 24 years of age to participate as mentor in the True Colors program.)
Step One: Fill out the application, providing (3) personal references and the background check release forms (2) that allow us to check for criminal history, child abuse or neglect charges and motor vehicle driving records.
Step Four: Begin your mentoring career as a Group Mentor. The Group Mentoring Program introduces our youth who are currently on the waiting list for a One-on-One Mentor to the True Colors family through monthly activities and events. The role of a Group Mentor is to help provide youth in the True Colors mentoring program a positive, safe, and healthy introduction to the LGBT community, as well as the community at large. Group Mentors participate in a variety of ways based on their interests, abilities, and the needs of the program:
Step Two: Participate in Training. The 2 part, 9 hour training that we provide for all of our mentors emphasizes work with our teens around transition issues. We believe that by successfully navigating life's changes (transitions), our youth will be better prepared for adult life. We also focus on issues specific to our kids. During training you will sign a confidentiality agreement.
Step Three: Schedule and participate in an interview with our mentoring coordinator.
- They provide transportation to monthly events.
- They listen.
- They chaperone events.
- They participate in a range of activities from nature hikes to game nights.
- They help transmit the rich culture and history of the LGBT community.
- They utilize their talents to help mentees foster their own.
- They model good behavior and healthy relationships.
- They volunteer their time and resources as they can.
Step Five: As a Group Mentor, you will get to know our youth and have a better idea if One-on-One mentoring is for you. While acting as a group mentor you may be invited to become a One-on-One Mentor for a particular youth. One-on-One Mentors continue to participate in group activities at least once a month, but in addition, you enjoy a minimum of 3 face-to-face meetings/ activities with your mentee each month and make a huge difference in a youth’s life by building a lasting relationship.
General Requirements for all Mentors:
- You will record the times and dates of each contact with a youth in the program.
- You will submit your contract report by the first of each month.
- You will check the YAHOO mentor group at least weekly.
- You will attend at least 4 group functions a year (Group Mentors commit to at least 1 per month.
- You will participate in an on-going training plan that includes at least 4 out of 10 monthly mentor trainings and feedback sessions.
- You agree to be a mentor, or to be available as a mentor, for a period of at least one year.
Click here for the True Colors One-on-One or Group Mentoring Program Information.
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