Mentoring Program

The goal of the mentoring program is simple: to develop positive one-on-one relationships between mentors and children.

At Volunteers for Youth, youth can participate in one of three different mentoring components: Community Mentoring, SMART Mentoring, or Group Mentoring.

Community Mentoring

Through community mentoring, children from eight to fourteen years of age are matched with responsible adult volunteers (18 years of age and older). Volunteers are screened and trained to serve as constructive role models and consistent friends. Volunteer mentors and children agree to spend at least two hours a week for twelve months together, engaging in activities of mutual interest such as hiking, cooking, or playing basketball.

Children from all over Orange County are referred to the community mentoring program by many different people for many different reasons. Juvenile court counselors, school staff, mental health professionals, and parents all may refer children who could benefit from the time and attention of a caring adult.

Get Involved

Refer a child for a community mentor

Fill out a referral form English / Spanish

Volunteer as a Community Mentor

SMART Mentoring

SMART mentoring is similar to community mentoring except that all of the mentors are UNC students who are enrolled in a specific service-learning sociology class at UNC. The mentors are screened and trained and then matched with children ages eight to fourteen. SMART mentors commit to spending two hours a week with a child for the academic year (September through April). Together the mentors and children engage in activities of mutual interest, such as hiking, cooking, or playing basketball.

Children are referred to SMART mentoring by school staff, parents, juvenile court counselors, and others who believe that the child could benefit from the time and attention of a UNC undergraduate.

Get Involved

Refer a child for a SMART mentor

Fill out a referral form

 English / Spanish

Be a SMART mentor

Learn more at the Carolina Center for Public Service.

Group Mentoring

Youth in local middle schools participate in weekly groups that meet at lunchtime and are led by VFY staff and volunteers. Participants bond with one another and their group leaders while gaining leadership experience, developing life skills, and addressing social justice issues. Potential group members are identified by parents and school officials as students who could particularly benefit and contribute in such a group.

Get Involved

To refer a child for group mentoring or for more information about Volunteers for Youth mentoring in general, please contact Nicolle Verdin:

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Help Volunteers for Youth build connections to help local youth achieve their potential!